At RMU, engineering students learn to use the industrial-grade equipment, processes and systems they'll encounter in the workforce after graduation.
Students learn best by doing, and with that in mind the University designed its 7,500 square-foot engineering lab, the Learning Factory. You'll learn to design using state-of-the-art computer-aided design software. Then translate those computer images to prototypes of products using a rapid prototyping system. The computer images are used to develop and simulate machining processes needed to produce the product, allowing you to design the most efficient manufacturing process. Finally, the product can be manufactured in our industrial-grade manufacturing cell, which consists of robots, CNC machining and turning machines, materials handling systems, assembly devices, packaging systems and programmable controllers.
The machines and software in the Learning Factory are the same full-sized, full-featured systems that graduates will find at their place of employment.
All engineering students take a course in their final year that is designed to bring all of the learning over the prior four years into sharp focus. In this course, Integrated Engineering Design, students work in small teams to conceive, design and produce a product. The course is intended to permit students to draw upon all of the skills learned up to that point and exercise them in a real-world application. It is the final "learning by doing" assignment, and it requires the full use of the Learning Factory facility.
In one semester, students transform an idea into a project. They:
- Conceive of a small product, such as a candlestick holder, key fob, desk organizer or polished bronze plaque
- Formalize the idea into a design drawing
- Select appropriate materials, such as brass, aluminum, plastic, bronze
- Develop the design through rapid prototyping
- Design a manufacturing process and appropriate supply chain
- Produce the product by integrating the facilities in the Learning Factory