When faculty member Leo Castagno of Brigham Young University discovered that many engineering students could write a program in C++ but couldn't tell the difference between a screw and a bolt, he wasn't exactly surprised. "In the traditional engineering curriculum, fasteners are covered in a single class," he says. "But I will tell you that there is a lot more to the technology than a person could possibly imagine." A former engineer and welder himself, Castagno's primary goal is to expose students to more than just pitches and thread counts. So he is expanding a process class that he teaches from just the basics of welding and chip cutting to include joining processes—in a very real-world kind of way. "This isn't a spectator sport, you know," he stresses. "I want to expose students to as many different kinds of fasteners as I can get my hands on." For starters, Penn Engineering has contributed a variety of fasteners to the school, free-of-charge. The idea is for students to gain some hands-on experience with them. Castagno is thrilled. But just in case some students may be contemplating not having to hit any books for the class, he says that the final exam will include at least some theory.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicle’s parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but that’s just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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