In this theory-driven work in progress, we: 1) provide the history and justification for a Body of Knowledge (BOK) in the context of technician education and professionalization; Wenger (1998), among others; 2) detail our method for creating an advanced manufacturing (AM) BOK; and 3) share subsequent steps to vet and validate the AM BOK with the AM community. We conclude with an examination of a BOK’s potential impacts on and contributions to AM’s dynamic evolution and maturation as a technical field. The imperative for this paper is that technical fields like engineering technology and information technology have developed BOKs to guide their practitioners, employers, educators, and researchers to a common set of material understandings. These understandings establish social norms and cultural expectations for a professional field. AM also encompasses specific knowledge, skills, and dispositions, yet currently has no prevailing BOK. As one of the fastest growing technician fields, AM education and professional identity construction requires an articulation of what it means to practice AM and how AM practitioners enact the field’s competencies. Because BOKs are also valuable to guide curriculum, employer expectations, and professional advancement, we explored ways to create an AM BOK and assembled an initial BOK that we are currently testing through research and community engagement. This project is part of NSF ATE grant 1700581.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.