Strengthening the Talent for National Defense: Infusing Advanced Manufacturing in Engineering Education through Capstone Design Courses

Project Status
In Progress
July 30, 2021
Department of Defense
Innovations in advanced manufacturing play a critical role in supporting the U.S. economy and national security, and it is important to prepare future engineers to contribute towards the next generation of manufacturing technologies. This study and workshop will examine advanced manufacturing techniques for the defense industry and explore how undergraduate engineering capstone design courses can better incorporate advanced manufacturing. This project is organized by the National Academy of Engineering in collaboration with the National Materials and Manufacturing Board (NMMB) in the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS).
Key Contacts
  • Beth Cady
    Director, Practices for Engineering Education and Research (PEER) Program
    National Academy of Engineering

Statement of Task

To determine the extent to which advanced manufacturing (AM) technologies are present in undergraduate engineering capstone design courses and explore ways to foster the integration of such technologies into capstone design courses, the NAE proposes to organize a workshop and conduct a consensus study.

An ad hoc committee will determine the AM technologies most in demand by the defense industrial base and plan and conduct a workshop to highlight exemplary practices of their use in engineering capstone courses. The committee will consider the workshop discussions, the existing literature base, and other relevant information to develop findings, strategic options, and recommendations. Published output of the activity will be a workshop proceedings and consensus report with the committee's findings, options, and recommendations.

This activity will incorporate a public workshop to explore ways to foster integration of AM technologies in engineering curricula, especially in capstone courses. As noted, the study's emphasis will be on AM techniques of interest to the defense industrial base.

The goals of the study are to:

(1)  determine the AM techniques used by the defense industrial base;

(2)  explore and explain the role of engineering design and capstone programs as a means of integrating AM technologies in the engineering curriculum;

(3)  highlight, to the extent possible, exemplary engineering courses that incorporate AM technology;

(4)  describe options and make recommendations for better integrating AM technologies in engineering capstone courses; and

(5)  recommend research that would be useful to further the integration of AM technologies in the engineering curriculum.