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A Case Study Of Faculty Collaboration To Implement A Simultaneous Engineering Oriented Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum in ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.17.1 - 8.17.13



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Paper Authors

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Andrew Otieno

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Abul Azad

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Radha Balamuralikrishna

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3449

A Case Study of Faculty Collaboration to Implement a Simultaneous Engineering Oriented Curriculum

Radha Balamuralikrishna, Andrew Otieno & Abul Azad Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115, USA Email:,,


Educational initiatives that particularly reflect the paradigm of simultaneous engineering are encouraged by the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University (NIU)1. The NIU engineering technology programs under the auspices of the department of technology provides for two areas of specialization, Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) and Manufacturing Engineering technology (MET). The department also offers a degree in the industrial technology track. In the year 2002, the University’s Committee for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education supported the authors’ joint proposal to challenge engineering and industrial technology students enrolled in three different courses to complete an interdisciplinary project towards part-fulfillment of their course requirements. This paper presents a comprehensive view of this case study highlighting the relevance of the project, logistics, and outcomes both from the perspective of students and the authors. This presentation will also focus on the challenges of conducting such collaborative projects and recommend dos and don’ts for faculty teams that plan to conduct interdisciplinary student projects in engineering technology.

Relevance of Interdisciplinary Projects and Fostering Student Collaboration

In recent decades there has been an increasing demand on manufacturers to reduce the cycle time for new product development. At the same time, we continued to see that the life cycle of new products became increasingly shorter. In this era of a free global market economy that fosters and nurtures creativity as well as innovation, engineering technologists can rest assured that these observations define a trend that will continue into the coming decades at an even more furious pace. The philosophy of simultaneous engineering is principally geared towards accelerated product development through intelligent teamwork and a networking of interdisciplinary teams. Educational programs oriented institutions such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) have either directly or indirectly proclaimed that undergraduates in our discipline should be well prepared in all aspects of teamwork and possess a certain degree of breadth and depth of exposure to various bodies of engineering that are exemplified in present day machines and consumer products2.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Otieno, A., & Azad, A., & Balamuralikrishna, R. (2003, June), A Case Study Of Faculty Collaboration To Implement A Simultaneous Engineering Oriented Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11389

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