MatEdU Builds Collaborative Internship Model Around Materials Science Skills

AM News regularly seeks stories on projects and programs that help additive manufacturing and materials technicians stay competitive in a rapidly changing job market. The need for well-qualified technicians is a challenge for many industries. As a National Science Foundation grant, The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) is hard at work to bring materials technology education and resources to the nation. 

MatEdU is a TEAMM Collaboration member and earlier this year published a case study on a successful internship collaboration project between academia and industry. This project provides a range of real-life learning experiences that benefit the student and gives educational institutions ways to provide skilled technicians needed by industry. 

Development of Collaborative Internship Model and Partnership with Boeing

Here are some of the issues identified by MatEdU as pressing challenges in the field of materials science technology:

  • The current workforce needs advanced skills to develop new products and infuse legacy products with advanced manufacturing practices using cutting edge materials and technologies and advanced industrial processes;
  • The current aging workforce is retiring at a time when the number of technical jobs is increasing;
  • New workers must be attracted and must develop skills to flexibly meet continuously evolving manufacturing industry demand.

In order to start working on these challenges, MatEdU, Edmonds Community College, and The Boeing Company together proactively developed a Collaborative Internship Model as a strategy for addressing the need for skilled technicians in the aerospace workforce. Research by The Boeing Company looked at the following kinds of needs assessment questions:

 

  • How many engineers, scientists, and technicians do we need in our foreseeable future?
  • What skills and knowledge will they need?
  • How do we attract the next generation technical workforce that possesses a much broader multi-disciplinary and systems engineering perspective?
  • How should we enhance our technical educational system?
  • How do we attract and retain a student population reflecting the demographics of our diverse society?

 

 

 

After identifying core challenges from the research findings, a pilot program was designed and developed in collaboration with academic (MatEdU and Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood, WA; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA) and industrial partners (The Boeing Company, and Boeing’s Materials and Process Technologies division, Seattle, WA) and implemented with a two-year community college in the professional technical division. 

Known as the Educational Experiential Learning Exposure Internship (EELEI) , the program was targeted at closing the technician workforce gap. With the increasing use of advanced composite materials in the design, testing, and repair of products like the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing has a constant need for qualified and experienced materials science technicians to replace a specific segment of its aging technical workforce. The Collaborative Internship Model supports and complements the Materials Science Technology (MST) program, a 2-year Associate of Applied Science-Transfer degree focused on materials science technology at Edmonds Community College.

Since 2008 approximately 74 students have successfully completed the internship program. About 45 interns have been hired full time. About 10 interns have gone on to a 4 -year institution – five of those are still with Boeing. Prior to 2015 most of the interns worked part time by having their summer internships extended until graduation. 

If you want to check out a number of the MatEdU Resources, then visit this specific Instructional Resources page where you will find a number of categories. To find this paper, scroll down to the last section: Papers & Publications and then “MatEdU Collaborative Internship: a Case Study of our collaborative internship model for education and industry” is listed there.

Or simply download it directly here (depending on your web browser and settings, the file may automatically download or your computer may ask you if you want to download it). 

Multi-Institutional Collaboration in Additive Manufacturing

Collaboration is a terrific way to learn and during the 2018 Fall semester, five students from two community colleges and one university worked together to share their design and additive manufacturing (AM) facilities and capabilities. Three students were from Tennessee Tech University, one from Sinclair Community College, and one from Somerset Community College.

NSF TTU Collaboration Bottle Opener Before After

The goal was to join forces to allow teams to leverage skills gained in different courses, improve design competencies, and have an opportunity to apply them in the lab. Before that, however, design files were evaluated and modifications suggested, when appropriate. One of the student teams studied technical drafting in one community college’s design course, while the other two institutions opened the doors of their AM labs so that students can take that design knowledge straight to a 3D printer.

Project Evaluation: Students’ Perspectives

When asked about the part of the project that they enjoyed the most, the students stated the following:

      • 3D printing in different machines and materials
      • I helped and recommended design changes to optimize the part, especially the bottle opener side. I recommended to reinforce the area with more stress concentration
      • The redevelopment of the opener was a great aspect because it showed me how a real product would work through the design process and how to change and fix problems
      • Testing to see what worked best
      • The design phase

The students indicated having learned invaluable lessons from the bottle cap opener project, to include the following:

      • Design is not about looks;
      • It is about functionality;
      • How to efficiently optimize the part with the help of CAD software;
      • The redevelopment stage of designing and how the first design will always change;
      • Iterative designs are great for improvement of the end product, and;
      • Ergonomic design techniques.

Using a simple bottle cap opener, students sought to see if they could improve it with design and 3D printing skills (image above of the before and after designs). In addition to the design and printing revisions that helped students achieve a functional finished product, students improved design skills, plus they gained other unique soft skills that will help them as they graduate and head into the workforce or further studies. According to the four professors involved (see list below), from an evaluative standpoint, overall, the project was a success. Both the faculty and students were satisfied with the process and product.

Using this innovative bottle cap opener (image above of the before and after designs), design and 3D printing skills were increased for students and faculty members in this practice. In addition to the design and printing revisions that helped students achieve a functional finished product, students gained other unique soft skills that will help them as they graduate and head into the workforce or further studies. According to the four professors involved (see list below), from an evaluative standpoint, overall, the project was a success. Both the faculty and students were satisfied with the process and product.

      • Dr. Ismail Fidan, Tennessee Tech University
      • Dr. George Chitiyo, Tennessee Tech University
      • Mr. Eric Newland Wooldridge, Somerset Community College
      • Mr. Thomas Singer, Sinclair Community College

The project team also filed a provisional patent application on the Universal Bottle Opener created and designed as part of this collaboration (which we highlighted here on AM News). In addition, the paper provides a terrific case study on the design progression and step by step iterations of the bottle opener. You can download the full ASEE paper for this multi-institution project, including student feedback and learning outcomes.

This project has been funded by NSF Award Number 1601587 entitled AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub.

Mark Your Calendars: Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series Fall 2019

The golden eagle is one of the fastest and most agile raptors in North America. As the mascot for Tennessee Tech University (TTU), it is completely appropriate and logical that a majestic bird of prey with a metal material in its name would be used by Dr. Ismail Fidan as he continues to build the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Fall 2019.

With a wide range of additive manufacturing subject matter experts, this workshop series features AM advances, industry innovations, design thinking and materials usage.

This is the eighth semester of lectures organized by TTU and Dr. Fidan. Here are the upcoming virtual lectures that you will want to add to your calendar this fall. The lectures are scheduled for 11—11:30 a.m. CST and can be joined via Zoom at that time.

    • Thursday, Sept. 26: Generative Design Will Change the Future of Manufacturing with Shashi Jain, Strategic Innovation Manager at Intel Corporation, Portland, Oregon.
    • Thursday, Oct. 17: Sustaining Accessibility for Kids’ Creativity with Additive Manufacturing with Pisut Koomsap, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand.
    • Thursday, Oct. 31: Design and Additive Manufacturing of Porous Titanium Scaffolds for Optimum Cell Viability in Bone Tissue Engineering with Bingbing Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management, California State University, Northridge, California.
    • Thursday, Nov. 7: FDM based Metal Additive Manufacturing with Haijun Gong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia.

If you want to know how TTU fully embraced their “Golden Eagle” mascot, you can read the full story here. The Golden Eagle is a terrific reflection of the engineering department ethos that its faculty, staff, and students would be driven to show manufacturing and materials excellence in their work — with block tin, gold, and many other materials and methods.

On February 14, 1925, the nickname ‘Golden Eagles’ was officially adopted. It wasn’t until 27 years later that a tangible mascot found its way to the campus. Several Tech students braved a driving night rainstorm to pilfer a huge block-tin eagle statue from the charred ruins of a resort hotel in Monteagle. They painted the creature – with a wingspan of over six feet – a glistening gold, and suspended it from the rafters for public inspection at the following day’s basketball game in Memorial Gym.”

Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lecture Series is partially funded by the NSF Award 1601587, “AM-WATCH: Additive Manufacturing-Workforce Advancement Training Coalition and Hub”. The archive of past Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Virtual Lectures is found here.

Somerset Community College Adds Metal Additive Manufacturing Technology

Last week, TEAMM Network member, Somerset Community College (SCC), made the news by winning a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for its Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform (see link at end of post). This week SCC is making news again for being the first college in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System to add metal additive manufacturing to its advanced manufacturing capabilities.

SCC is home to many “firsts” as far as Additive Manufacturing is concerned. Last year, the college was the first institution of higher education in Kentucky to offer a statewide certificate in additive manufacturing. AM News reported on it here: Somerset Community College Offers 3D Printing Technician Certificate. The school is a leader in workforce development and in additive manufacturing.

The school selected the OpenAdditive™ PANDA laser powder bed fusion system from Universal Technology Corporation for its training and education needs. The PANDA system is affordable and offers openness in design and operation to enhance instructor and student experience in understanding the laser melting additive process.

The system has been installed and includes processing parameters and powder feedstock for printing in tool steel, stainless steel, and other metals. Peripherals include powder recycling and disposal equipment, post-processing equipment, and onsite training, as an integrated solution for metal AM education.

You can learn more about SCC’s Additive Manufacturing program or visit their YouTube channel, The Additive Guru, with videos dedicated to 3D printing such as 3D Printing Motorcycle Batteries.

Read about SCC’s work on the New NSF Grant for Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform: “In this recent announcement, Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor of the Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Technology and College of Engineering-Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Techno-Entrepreneurship at Tennessee Technological University, has joined forces with Eric Wooldridge (Principal Investigator) and Elaine Kohrman (Co-Principal Investigator) to create a mobile additive manufacturing platform to aid the future workforces of Tennessee and Kentucky.”

SCC Metal 3D Printing PANDA System
Somerset Community College professor and director of the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, Eric Wooldridge explains to students and Curtis Cash, SCC professor of Machine Tool Technology, how the PANDA System operates. The printer is located on the Somerset campus in the MTT lab.

 

New NSF Grant for Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform

A small community college campus located in Somerset, Kentucky is driving state-of-the-art advances in the field of Additive Manufacturing (AM). With the leadership of Additive Manufacturing Professor Eric Wooldridge, the campus offers several AM courses and a certificate, conducts outreach activities to drive awareness, and runs other funded projects including a new metal Additive Manufacturing capability (see resource links at end of post).

ATE PI - Somerset Community College
Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform Team (Left to Right): Elaine Kohrman, Ismail Fidan, and Eric Wooldridge

The National Science Foundation has just announced a new grant award to Somerset Community College (SCC), led by Professor Wooldridge, to establish a Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship infrastructure in both Tennessee and Kentucky.

In this recent announcement, Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor of the Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Technology and College of Engineering-Faculty Fellow in Innovation and Techno-Entrepreneurship at Tennessee Technological University, has joined forces with Eric Wooldridge (Principal Investigator) and Elaine Kohrman (Co-Principal Investigator) to create a mobile additive manufacturing platform to aid the future workforces of Tennessee and Kentucky.

Both Wooldridge and Kohrman are professors at Somerset Community College (SCC is part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College system). 

In an interview with Professor Wooldridge, he explained that the “Mobile AMP grant is our solution for getting tech momentum around Additive Manufacturing (AM). The more practitioners, users [we have] the more momentum and the more resulting innovations will occur. We’ll be training teachers, companies (through workforce development programs), and, of course, students.”

They want to take students and the entrepreneur-minded to go beyond “printing keychains and trinkets.” This AM training is “getting them used to high-end equipment and advanced design software — additive projects that make something real, solves a real problem, creates a real product,” Wooldridge said.

A key aspect of the Mobile AMP grant is the use of a vehicle with a trailer enabling the movement of  specialized equipment to off-campus sites. This trailer will allow educators to get the equipment safely to schools and locations, optimizing time  and minimizing risk.. The goal “is to add several printers for scaling production and show the capacity for short run production where a person can design something and have 8-10 printers producing products overnight,” Professor Wooldridge explained.

You can keep up with what this new grant project is doing through a new YouTube channel the Somerset team has created: The Additive Guru. They focus on short videos on equipment reviews and best practices, with lab techs and students contributing.

If Professor Wooldridge’s name is familiar, you may remember AM News recently profiled his work developing a 3D Printing Technician Certificate at SCC. Plus, in February of this year, he was part of the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series, an online webinar event that reaches people around the world. Professor Wooldridge’s lecture focused on his 3D printing technician certificate work at SCC. His lab and accomplishments have been recognized and appreciated by the Governor of Kentucky.

Dr. Fidan, of course, is a regular mention here on AM News for his projects serving the global additive manufacturing community. The most recent includes a new type of 3D printer: Tennessee Tech Launches New Mobile Multitasking 3D Printer (A new printer called the TechBot).

Stay tuned here on AM News in the coming school year for SCC and TTU innovations leading the Additive Manufacturing educational community.

Additional Resources

The Lane Report: Somerset Community College adds metal additive manufacturing technology.

From the NSF Award page: “The overarching goal of the project is to enhance workforce development opportunities in additive manufacturing for high school students, community college students, incumbent workers, and manufacturers in underserved regions of Kentucky and Tennessee. Two courses will be developed to include advancements in powder-based printer and metal printer applications. These courses will be integrated into the existing curriculum for the 3D Printing Technician-Level 1 certificate at the institutions. These courses will cover topics such as improved product topology, metal sintering production, advanced composite materials, and generative design concepts and techniques. Customized curriculum on these topics will also be developed and offered in workshops for high school students and incumbent workers.