University-industry partnership launches open online course in digital manufacturing

By UI LABS news release

Jan 24, 2017

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Enrollment has opened for the first three online courses of a 10-course “101” series focused on harnessing data to make American factories more efficient and competitive.

Developed in partnership with the University at Buffalo (UB) under coordination of The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) for the Coursera platform, Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology launches on Jan. 30. The massive open online course (MOOC) curriculum includes 40 hours of instruction, assessments, peer interactions and a final project.

Developed for both students and workers, the series will introduce a broad range of digital manufacturing and design technologies, and demonstrate how they can be used throughout a product’s lifecycle.

TCIE designed the curriculum alongside industry partners, including Siemens PLM, SME, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Moog Inc. and Buffalo Manufacturing Works. Its development was funded with a $380,000 award from the Chicago-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, a UI LABS collaboration. (UI stands for university and industry.)

“Workforce development is critical to maintaining American manufacturing competitiveness,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “It is also important that the collaborative knowledge DMDII gains through university, industry, startup and government collaboration reach as many people as possible.”

The course modules will introduce digital manufacturing and design technologies, which use data to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process. For example, one module will explain how to upgrade legacy machines so they capture information about their production and performance. Another module on cyber-physical security will cover how to ensure these internet-connected devices are protected from hacking.

After completing the series, known as a “specialization,” participants will earn a certificate in digital manufacturing and design.

“For decades universities and factories were worlds apart, but the speed of innovation is drawing them closer and closer,” said Liesl Folks, dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Creating a first-of-its-kind, impactful curriculum on digital manufacturing is an important step in strengthening and retraining our manufacturing employment base.”

The courses will be offered on Coursera, the world’s largest platform for MOOCs. Individual course content, including videos and readings, can be accessed at no cost; the fee to enroll in the series, with access to all assignments and the opportunity to earn a specialization completion certificate, is $49 per month.

To enroll, visit Coursera.org, create an account, and register for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology Specialization.

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