MAE Seminar – A Tale of Two Courses


12:45 pm-1:45 pm
Add to Outlook/iCal
Add to Google Calendar


MAE-A Room 303
939 Sweetwater Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611


A Tale of Two Courses

Thursday, September 7, 2023, at 12:50 pm
Location: In-Person MAE-A, Room 303

Sean Niemi, PhD
Instructional Assistant Professor
UF Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

It was the best of courses, it was the worst of courses, it was the course of learning, it was the course of failing, it was the course of design, it was the course of manufacturing, students were all going to be Mechanical or Aerospace engineers, students were all going to drop—in short, Design and Manufacturing Lab (DML) was so dichotomous that a transformation was imperative as its prevailing state was unsustainable for student and faculty alike.
This presentation delves into the restructuring of DML – an effort to reduce the significant time burden while still maintaining its fundamental ethos: that of a place to learn from, and adapt to, failures that occur as part of the engineering process. Beyond the confines of DML, these principles of experiential learning, melding theoretical with hands-on practice, led to the development of a new advanced manufacturing course and merged seamlessly into a nationwide workforce development program.

Sean Niemi is an Instructional Assistant Professor and founding PI of the MERGE Lab in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UF. His teaching and research focus on team-based, hands-on design and manufacturing courses, most notably highlighted by Mechanical Engineering Design 3 and Design and Manufacturing Laboratory. Sean is active in fostering experiential learning opportunities, integrating modern enterprise productivity solutions inside—and outside of—the classroom, and developing instructional methodologies and classes that bridge the industry/academia transition to better prepare Gen-Z students for the workforce. He is also the faculty advisor for both the Swamp Launch Rocket Team and Gator Motorsports, encouraging a dynamic, “fail-fast” environment for students and mentoring the teams to 4th place and 3rd place finishes, respectively, in 2022. Sean received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2018.

MAE Faculty Host: Matt Traum


Hosted by

UF Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering