Changing the manufacturing perception of millennial and generation Z engineering students

Paul C. Lynch, Joseph Wilck, Elizabeth Gaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Over five years of work in an industrial engineering manufacturing process course has been carried out to understand engineering undergraduate student perceptions of manufacturing in the United States. This paper discusses a holistic approach being taken in an industrial engineering program to understand Millennial and Generation Z student manufacturing perception while working to get students interested in manufacturing careers through coursework, internships, and co-op experiences. The generation divisions are often argued about, but Millennials are generally thought of as being born from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s with Generation Z following. Millennials can be defined as those born from 1981 to 1996, with Generation Z following from 1997 on. The results of over five years of questionnaire data shows that a well-designed manufacturing processes course equipped with hands-on labs, plant visits, and manufacturing job fairs can be effective in changing student's perception of manufacturing. It is also shown that campus location may play a key part in industrial engineering student knowledge of manufacturing and the percentage of students completing internships and co-ops in manufacturing. Data was collected across two campuses within the same U.S. University where both campuses offer B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering. The enrollment at the two campuses and manufacturing footprint around the two campuses are significantly different and this is discussed with the results of the survey data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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