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A Modern Mechanical Engineering Sequence For The United States Military Academy

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.54.1 - 6.54.10

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Paper Authors

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John Klegka

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Robert Rabb

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

Session 2566

A Modern Mechanical Engineering Sequence for the United States Military Academy

Major Robert J. Rabb, Colonel John S. Klegka United States Military Academy


Many institutions are revising their engineering curricula and developing programs and courses to meet the needs of industry. With or without the valuable, external assessments of engineering programs from ABET’s EC2000 Criteria, engineering educators cannot ignore the changes in real world engineering and design. Engineering programs must prepare their graduates for success beyond the classroom. The future of engineering points at more interdisciplinary work and more work performed in teams. This paper focuses on a proposed mechanical engineering sequence at the United States Military Academy that incorporates traditional mechanical engineering courses as well as new, interdisciplinary courses. The design of this proposed curriculum proceeds from a consideration of the Academic Program Objectives for the institution as a whole, flows through the objectives for the Mechanical Engineering Program, and results in a new Mechanical Engineering Program to meet those objectives. There are three modules composing the foundation for this mechanical engineering sequence: Thermo-fluids, Mechanical Systems (Mechatronics), and Mechanical Design. The traditional engineering courses such as Thermodynamics give the student a fundamental understanding of basic laws and physical systems. The interdisciplinary courses such as Mechanical Design or Mechatronics expose the student to an environment where there are many correct solutions and allow him or her to function and perform as a valuable member of a design team. The proposed curriculum would provide the robust essential engineering education and substantial preparation in design, analysis, communication, and teamwork in a four year mechanical engineering program. We discuss the design of the assessment system to measure the effectiveness of this curriculum. We believe this curriculum is a model that many mechanical engineering institutions will find useful to prepare their graduates and concurrently meet the needs of their customers.

I. Introduction

The United States Military Academy (USMA) is the sole college in the nation whose only responsibility is to prepare every one of its students for professional service as a regular Army officer. The academic program, like the other aspects of the West Point environment, is designed to foster development in a wide variety of traditional subjects in the humanities and sciences essential to such service. This paper will focus on the development of an integrated

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Klegka, J., & Rabb, R. (2001, June), A Modern Mechanical Engineering Sequence For The United States Military Academy Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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