Gallogly College of Engineering students have access to Rawl Engineering Practice Facility bays and machine shop through participation on an engineering competition teams. All team members must have training before being allowed card swipe access to this part of the facility. The Engineering Practice Coordinator, and his staff, require a one-hour safety orientation for all team members receiving access to the bay. Machine shop access is granted only for students completing a three-hour safety training course. Shop staff work with two students at a time, by appointment, for the three-hour hands-on equipment training. Access to the equipment is only granted after training is completed and upon gaining student signature upon a safety oath agreement, stating they understand the rules and regulations of shop safety. As a student develops proficiency in simpler tools, as evaluated by the Practice Coordinator, she/he is permitted access to more sophisticated machinery, always with training and initial oversight. Safety use guidelines are posted at each machine. The manual lathes, manual mills, CNC mill, and CNC plasma require a key to gain access to further ensure the student safety. The key is only available to those who have completed advanced safety training. Details about the facility and student training are found at http://www.ou.edu/coe/about/facilities/practice.html.
The undergraduate manufacturing laboratory (ISE 3304) experience is provided in partnership with the Moore-Norman Technology Center (MNTC), a vocational-technical institution located approximately seven miles from the Norman campus. All safety and equipment instruction is provided by the technician instructor at the MNTC. This approach provides safe, modern, and fully functional supervised learning experiences for the students in manufacturing. It is highly beneficial for industrial and systems engineering students to have firsthand experience in technical skills acquired by trade school students in preparation for potentially working in manufacturing environments. This approach is innovative and highly effective. We are one of very few ISE schools that provides such “hands-on” experience in the US, and we have done this for the past 24 years.
Guidance regarding the use of other ISE lab equipment and software is provided by the course instructor and course TA. On an as needed basis, training sessions are held prior to the laboratory, during which the instructor/TA demonstrates proper use of the lab equipment. Software demonstrations are often provided in class. In the case of courses focused on computer- based problem solving, course lectures are provided on the development of the code/commands to develop solutions.