One group of Greenville Technical College students is designing and building a tiny house, using hemp as an insulation method. Another group is comprised of current production associates at BMW who are making suggestions for improvements at the company in such areas as process improvement, productivity, and employee engagement. A third group of students is partnering with Clemson University students to address a BMW concern about connectors during vehicle assembly.
All of these students are pursuing interests through Creative Inquiry, an option at Greenville Tech that allows students to work one-on-one or in very small groups with faculty members. The students may join an ongoing research project, propose a new project, or complete a project that is embedded in a course.
The 500 square foot tiny house will be donated to a senior citizen in need of affordable housing. The home will be taken to Summerton, SC, where land has been donated for its site. The Creative Inquiry class creating it has six students enrolled – two from the Architectural Engineering Technology program, two from Construction Engineering Technology, and two from Building Construction Technology. The students are working together to design and build all aspects of the structure. The tiny house will be insulated with Hempcrete, a bio-based, all-natural insulation method that works in conjunction with conventional framing.
Sixteen students are taking the Research in Business class, the fourth cohort to complete this course through the Road to Production Management program with BMW. Three of the projects created this semester are currently being implemented. These projects should result in cost savings and improvements for the company.
Seven GTC students are partnering with Clemson University engineering students to address a BMW concern about connectors during the vehicle assembly process. This group is designing and building a semi-automated test fixture for automating electrical connections.
All of these students have the opportunity to present their work at a Student Scholar Showcase on April 15, 2020 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Greenville Technical College’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation. In all, there are eight Creative Inquiry classes and projects underway this semester. The showcase includes projects and presentations outside of Creative Inquiry research as well, and all students have the opportunity to present outstanding work. The public is invited to attend.