One major attraction of teaching the capstone design project through The Learning Factory is the possibility for students to work in multi-disciplinary teams along with, for example, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and materials engineering students. Having a greater number of projects will give us better opportunities to put together multi-disciplinary teams.
The ideal project is the design of a product, process, software, or service that involves technical analysis, financial justification, and prototyping. This is an excellent opportunity, for a minimal investment, to investigate the potential for that "back burner" idea that has been sitting on your desk. Projects need to have a strong design component with clear, well-defined objectives to provide the students with an ideal starting point and allow them to keep focused. The required project work must be sufficient such that it may be handled by a team of 4-6 students within one 15-week semester.
The Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory is a hands-on facility for engineering students to use in conjunction with capstone design and other courses, as well as research projects and student organizations. The Learning Factory provides modern design, prototyping, and manufacturing facilities, including machining (CNC and manual), 3D printing, welding, metrology, and CAD/CAM.
The Learning Factory provides a University-Industry partnership where student design projects benefit clients and industrial sponsors interact with students and faculty to help us create world-class engineers and make a significant difference in engineering education at Penn State. Since its inception, the Learning Factory has completed more than 1,800 projects for more than 500 different sponsors, and nearly 9,000 engineering students at Penn State University Park participated in such a project.
Teams of engineering students tackle real-world problems sponsored by clients, challenging students to apply the knowledge and tools acquired during their undergraduate education to help solve engineering problems. The Learning Factory provides a unique opportunity for industry sponsors to partner with Penn State to help educate the next generation of World Class Engineers using state-of-the-art facilities for design, prototyping, and fabrication.
The Learning Factory Informational PDF