Modern technology and manufacturing methods often require engineers who understand the fundamental principles of vibration theory and who are also skilled in vibration applications. Simply processing, remembering and applying the material learned from lectures and laboratory experiments with artificial criteria are inadequate.

Hands-on teaching techniques with real-world problems are needed to complete the engineering students’ education. This paper demonstrates how hands-on experiments performed in industry support and increase the students’ understanding of fundamental principles and skill in their applications. Graduates with both knowledge and skill are more competitive in today’s job market.

A one-quarter industry-based vibration course was developed and taught with a hands-on segment at the Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering and Technology (MMET) program at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) - Portland Campus. This novel instructional approach provided students with the opportunity to immediately apply material, learned in class and laboratory, in real-world industry situations with real-world problems.

This instructional approach is applicable in many engineering fields and the author found the mechanical vibrations class particularly well suited for this instructional design style. The hands-on approach, grounded in the vibration course curriculum, provided a direct link to the fundamentals of vibration in industry.

Student comments are included to demonstrate the value perceived by the students. Although this curriculum experiment involved mechanical engineering technology students, it would benefit mechanical engineering students equally well.

In addition, the paper provides a brief description of the industries that participated in this project. Industries were selected because they use vibration based manufacturing, perform extreme testing or design their products to avoid failure due to vibrations.

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