In this paper, we present the learning experiences of six undergraduates who worked on research projects in the areas of product family and product obsolescence. These areas represent emerging fields in product design. Product platforms enable the planned development and deployment of families of related products whereas traditional design processes optimize on a single design. Design for Managing Product Obsolescence (DfMPO) helps in mitigating and preventing obsolescence of products due to rapid change in technology, thus promoting sustainability. Both product platform and DfMPO place an increased emphasis on management of information due to the reuse of design knowledge. The REU program gave the six students the opportunity to discover design principles and knowledge related to platform design and DfMPO. The students spent a semester applying novel design knowledge representation and visualization techniques to plan product platforms and design principles to prevent product obsolescence. The students worked closely with a faculty, a post-doctoral researcher, and graduate students in the research group. The six students include three freshmen, one junior, and two seniors. Five of the students are women and one is a man. The group represents a variety of engineering disciplines with majors in aerospace, mechanical and industrial engineering. This paper provides an overview of the research conducted by the REU students, the structure of the REU program, and the students' overall experience including the effects on student interest in graduate school.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - 2007|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes