New Manufacturing Course Prepares Students for the Big Data Era in Manufacturing

Dr. Chenhui Shao offered a new course in mechanical engineering—ME 498 Manufacturing Data and Quality Systems—to prepare students for the Big Data era in manufacturing. The course structure introduces students to industrial environments, and its content prepares students for the future of the manufacturing industry.

Most current manufacturing courses are more or less outdated, and students are often not ready for the “real-world” industry after finishing the curriculum. There is a strong need for a series of courses focusing on data science in manufacturing applications. The course created by Dr. Shao fills the gap in the existing manufacturing curriculum, particularly on the emerging area of data science. The course not only teaches students about statistical quality control and machine learning methods but also equips them with the skill set they need in the era of digital manufacturing. The future generations of manufacturing engineers will be acquainted with enough strategies that when they encounter a problem in the workforce, they will know where to start.

As one of the key uniqueness of this course, the final project is designed to test and enhance students’ skills of teamwork and communication as well as abilities to solve data/quality problems in the modern industry. Professional project proposals and reports, as well as mock industry reviews, are adopted for the final project grading. With the datasets of real-world manufacturing applications provided by industrial and academic collaborators, students could obtain the first-hand experience of the challenging big data analytics problems that they might encounter in their future career.  Furthermore, the design of the course projects aims to create a win-win scenario that not only students get training and knowledge from the practical projects, but also collaborators get preliminary results that can potentially lead to greater success.

This course will be offered again in Fall 2019. Read more.