The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 established the “Manufacturing Engineering Education Program,” (MEEP) (10 U.S.C.
§ 2196) which authorizes the Department of Defense to support industry-relevant, manufacturing-focused, engineering training at United
States institutions of higher education, industry, nonprofit institutions, and consortia of such institutions or industry.
The purpose of this program is to establish new or to enhance existing programs (or collections of programs) to better position the current and next-generation manufacturing workforce to produce military systems and components that assure technological superiority for the Department of Defense (DoD).
Interested parties should focus programs on manufacturing education to support one or more distinct manufacturing technologies; e.g.
manufacturing of lightweight structures, systems and materials; robotics for manufacturing; manufacturing to exploit nanotechnology; manufacturing of components and systems for power generation, storage, or distribution; manufacturing of multi-functional electronics and/or optical devices; or other manufacturing technologies of regional or industrial sector of interest.
Proposed efforts should develop and enhance curricula and programs to effectively develop skills sets needed for students to operate in multidisciplinary design and manufacturing environments, including those for which manufacturing schema are informed by computational tools for modeling and simulation.
Students also should be prepared to work effectively in environments where multiple engineering disciplines are engaged during design, development and manufacturing, and where the roles of manufacturers and suppliers in businesses of various sizes, from start-ups to major systems integrators, are optimized.
The DoD, through the Office of Naval Research (ONR), seeks a broad range of consolidated and integrated multidisciplinary programs of education with an emphasis on:
Developing multidisciplinary instruction that encompasses the total manufacturing engineering enterprise.
Providing opportunities for students to obtain relevant work experience in manufacturing through such activities as internships, summer job placements, or cooperative work-study programs.
Demonstrating faculty and student engagement with industry that is directly related to, and supportive of, the education of students in manufacturing engineering.
Instruction that encompasses the total manufacturing engineering enterprise may include but is not limited to the following:
Manufacturing engineering education and training through classroom activities, laboratory activities, thesis projects, individual or team projects, internships, cooperative work-study programs, and interactions with industrial facilities, consortia, or other such activities and organizations in the United States and appropriate foreign countries; b.
Faculty development programs; c.
Recruitment of educators highly qualified in manufacturing engineering to teach or develop manufacturing engineering courses; d.
Presentation of seminars, workshops, and training for the development of specific manufacturing engineering skills; e.
Activities involving interaction between students and industry, including programs for visiting scholars, personnel exchange, or industry executives; f.
Development of new, or updating and modification of existing, manufacturing curriculum, course offerings, and education programs; g.
Establishment of programs in manufacturing workforce training; h.
Establishment of joint manufacturing engineering programs with defense laboratories and depots; and i.
Expansion of manufacturing training and education programs and outreach for members of the armed forces, dependents and children of such members, veterans, and employees of the Department of Defense.
Any proposed program or collection of programs should be able to demonstrate the increased understanding of manufacturing engineering challenges and potential solutions, and the enhanced quality and effectiveness of the instruction that result from that increased understanding.