CI-Team: Collaborative Research: Cyber-Infrastructure-Based Engineering Repositories for Undergraduates (CIBER-U)
Kemper Lewis Principal Investigator
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This CI-Team will demonstrate how digital design repositories can be used to enhance instruction and learning in engineering undergraduate curricula through the development of CIBER-U: Cyber-Infrastructure-Based Engineering Repositories for Undergraduates. In particular, the National Design Repository of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data for consumer and industrial products will be extended to enhance instruction and learning in freshmen-, sophomore-, junior-, and senior-level engineering design courses, including related issues with respect to accessing, storing, searching, and reusing CAD models and data. The project will be implemented in seven undergraduate engineering design courses at the partner institutions, which include the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Missouri-Rolla, the University at Buffalo, and Drexel University. The impact on the educational experience, learning, and practical knowledge of the undergraduate students who will interact with the National Design Repository through the resulting CIBER-U will also be assessed as part of the project. <br/><br/>The results of this research will lead to a novel, multi-university educational experience that is mutually beneficial. Specifically, the National Design Repository will be frequently populated, updated, and put to use while simultaneously helping advance systematic and coordinated methods to access, store, search, and reuse CAD models and data. The research pairs two design repository developers with several active users and their students to realize a high-impact application of advanced cyber-infrastructure for allied engineering education. The diversity and strength of the undergraduate engineering programs represented in the proposal will prepare a new generation of engineers to develop, exploit, and promote the use of digital design repositories to support product design. These students will be exposed to tools and technologies that are representative of those that will shape the growth of the cyber-infrastructure and are currently preferred by companies in technology-intensive industries such as automotive and aerospace. In two years, 1700+ undergraduate students will participate in CIBER-U, helping to prepare them to enter the workforce with a more effective understanding of working in a distributed, technology-mediated environment. The team will also engage 200+ high school students in CIBER-U through ongoing summer high school outreach activities.