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NSF Supports Purdue Team Developing Online Manufacturing Courses

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $2 million to a Purdue team that will develop new online courses that respond to the national need for well-educated engineers and technologists. The project is one of only five nationwide announced Sept. 19 by the National Science Foundation as part of its Production Engineering Education and Research (PEER) program, which received $10 million in support from the Boeing Co. in 2018.

Audeen Fentiman, Purdue’s Crowley Family Professor in the School of Engineering Education, said the work will identify key concepts students must master in the emerging technical area of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) and ways of teaching the concepts effectively. “In addition,” she said, “we will develop a process for assessing the effectiveness of online technical instruction.” Joining Fentiman on the project are Kerrie Douglas (Engineering Education), John Sutherland and Aihua Huang (Environmental and Ecological Engineering), Daniel Delaurentis and Ali Raz (Aeronautics and Astronautics), Jorge Camba and Travis Fuerst (Purdue Polytechnic Institute), Bryan DeWitt (Purdue Online), and Jennifer Richardson and Wanju Huang (College of Education).

The project will support the design, deployment, and evaluation of online course modules for students at two-year colleges, undergraduates at four-year universities, and working professionals. The project will be conducted in collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College and several industry partners to ensure that the courses are well aligned with both students’ degree programs and industry needs. The online content developed through the project will be made available to students and professionals across the country, with the vision of creating a more highly skilled workforce and making U.S. manufacturing more competitive.