Product Realization Minor
An Undergraduate Minor in the College of Engineering


A College of Engineering team consisting of faculty from Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science and Mechanics was successful in obtaining a grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency in conjunction with the University of Washington, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and Sandia National Laboratory to develop curricula which integrate product design and manufacturing. At Penn State this collaboration (the Manufacturing Engineering Education Partnership- MEEP) resulted in a 21 credit interdisciplinary minor designed for students in all engineering disciplines who are interested in engineering practice in integrated design and manufacturing. The program culminates with a one- or two-semester project involving the design and manufacture of a new product. The purpose of the minor is to offer students state of the art practice in integrated product/process design and manufacturing. Students completing the minor should: 1) understand the interaction of design and manufacturing through practical examples, 2) be familiar with the entrepreneurial skills needed to transfer a new product from initial idea to market, 3) understand the technical and management aspects of concurrent engineering and total quality management, and 4) have hands-on experience in designing and manufacturing a product, organizing and managing the effort, and interacting with the customer.

The Product Realization Minor offers students in traditional engineering disciplines an alternative path to a degree which directly prepares them for careers in manufacturing, design and product realization. Students who choose this program begin working in the Learning Factory (a new hands-on interdisciplinary laboratory for integrated manufacturing and design) in the first year as a direct component of their course work. This multi-disciplinary, hands-on experience continues and expands in scope each year to compliment the academic programs in individual departments. Throughout, students will experience the total process of product realization to meet customer needs: from conceptual design through prototyping, marketing, business planning, production, total quality improvement and ultimate disposal.

The Manufacturing Engineering Education Partnership (MEEP) was among 12 teaching projects to receive the Provost's Awards for Collaborative Instruction and Curricular Innovation. The awards recognize and support a variety of collaborative projects that move away from the chalkboard to reach students through innovative techniques and technologies.

Developing the Product Realization Minor were Russell R. Barton, Paul H. Cohen, and Edward C. De Meter, (all of Industrial Engineering); John S. Lamancusa - Mechanical Engineering), and Renata Engel, Engineering Science and Mechanics.

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This page last updated September 2013.