Final set of UB-developed digital manufacturing and design courses to open

By Tracy Puckett

Release Date: May 10, 2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The concluding group of online courses that explore technologies revolutionizing American factories, developed by the University at Buffalo, roll out on the worldwide Coursera platform beginning next week.  

The massive open online courses (MOOCs) are installments seven through 10 in a 10-part “101” series called Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology. The first-of-its-kind series explores how data is being used to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process. The project is a partnership with the Chicago-based, federally funded Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII).

The new MOOCs to debut are:

  • Digital Manufacturing Commons (, available on May 15 and taught by Chi Zhou, PhD, UB assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering. The Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC) is an open, online space for companies of all sizes to collaborate and transform how they design and manufacture their products. This course explores how the DMC platform will support an online community of users who can share data, analytical models, simulations, industry best practices and more.
  • Cyber Security in Manufacturing, available on June 12 and taught by  Shambhu Upadhyaya, PhD, UB professor of computer science and engineering. The nature of digital manufacturing and design (DM&D), and its heavy reliance on creating a digital thread of product and process data and information, makes it a prime target for hackers and counterfeiters. This course will introduce students to why creating a strong and secure infrastructure should be of paramount concern for anyone operating in the DM&D domain, and measures that can be employed to protect operational technologies, systems and resources.
  • MBSE: Model-Based Systems Engineering, available on July 10 and taught by  Kenneth English, PhD, deputy director of UB’s SMART (Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies) Community of Excellence. This Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) course and the digital thread courses of the specialization bring together the concepts from across DM&D, forming a vision in which the geometry of a product is just one way of describing it. MBSE is where the model resulting from the evolution of system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities is the focus of design and manufacturing. Students will gain an understanding of systems engineering, the model-based approach to design and manufacturing, the digital twin and a roadmap toward a model-based enterprise.
  • Roadmap to Success in Digital Manufacturing & Design, available on July 10 and facilitated by Amy Moore, project manager at UB’s Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), who acts as a roadmap guide. Through this culminating project, learners will create a roadmap to achieve their own personal goals related to the DM&D profession, which will help them leverage relevant opportunities. It provides a tangible element to include in their professional portfolios that showcases their knowledge of Industry 4.0.

Each course includes video-based instruction, peer interactions, assessments and project work.

The first six MOOCs of the series are open for enrollment. They include: Digital Manufacturing & Design, Digital Thread: Components, Digital Thread: Implementation, Advanced Manufacturing Process Analysis, Intelligent Machining and Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise.

Course development is being led by TCIE, the business outreach center of UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in coordination with SMART, the Center for Educational Innovation and industry partners. Efforts are partially funded with a $380,000 award from DMDII and its parent organization, UI LABS.

Learners may sign up for individual courses or the complete series. There is no charge to access course content that includes videos and readings. The fee to gain access to content plus all assignments in a course or the complete series, and the opportunity to earn a certificate in digital manufacturing and design, is $49 per month.

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