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A Multi Disciplinary Modeling Course As A Foundation For Study Of An Engineering Discipline

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.74.1 - 11.74.18



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Paper Authors


Jean Nocito-Gobel University of New Haven

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Jean Nocito-Gobel, an Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of New Haven, received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently serving as the Coordinator for the First Year Program. Her professional interests include modeling the transport and fate of contaminants in groundwater and surface water systems, as well as engineering education reform.

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Samuel Daniels University of New Haven

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Samuel Bogan Daniels, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Haven, received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University and has a P.E license in CT. He is currently the freshman advisor for Mechanical Engineering, ASME & SAE Faculty Advisor, PLTW UNH Affiliate Professor, and has interests in solid modeling, electric vehicles and composites.

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Michael Collura University of New Haven

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

A Multidisciplinary Modeling Course as a Foundation for Study of an Engineering Discipline

A new sequence of first and second year courses has been established at our university to develop a strong foundation for programs in various engineering disciplines. The Multi-Disciplinary Engineering Foundation Spiral is a four-semester sequence of engineering courses, matched closely with the development of students’ mathematical sophistication and analytical capabilities and integrated with course work in the sciences. Students develop a conceptual understanding of engineering basics in this series of courses which stress practical applications of these principles. In the first semester of the sophomore year all engineering students take the course Introduction to Modeling of Engineering Systems (EAS211). For students in some majors, such as Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, this is the last required engineering course outside of their major area of study. For other majors, such as Chemical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, this course will provide a foundation for more advanced study in disciplinary courses.

EAS211 introduces students to the modeling of simple engineering systems in different fields using the balance principle and empirical laws. The course presents the modeling process to solve problems that concern conservation of mass, charge, linear and angular momentum and energy, introducing such concepts as Kirchoff's current and voltage laws, linear momentum in fluids, applications of the energy equation in thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid flow problems. In addition to the use of conservation or balance principles, several other common themes provide a unifying construct for the varied topics. These include the development of an organized approach to solving problems, the use of common computer tools, such as spreadsheets and appreciating the complexity of concepts that converge in realistic problems.

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to: • Apply the balance principle in the solution of simple engineering problems. • Develop models by applying the balance principle and selecting the appropriate empirical relationships. • Understand and apply the modeling process • Model problems involving mass conservation. • Model resistive circuits using a variety of analysis techniques. • Model linear momentum problems, such as those involving forces on surfaces. • Model the flow of fluids in simple situations using the energy balance and empirical relationships. • Model problems involving a change in thermodynamic state properties using the first law of thermodynamics. • Model one dimensional steady state heat conduction problems.

In a traditional engineering program, students generally learn an organized approach to problem- solving in a sophomore level introductory course in a specific subject area, such as a first course in statics, electric circuits or material balances. The pace and approach in such a course is dictated more by the need for students to develop a set of problem-solving skills than by the complexity of the subject matter. Development of such skills is slowed down by conceptual

Nocito-Gobel, J., & Daniels, S., & Collura, M. (2006, June), A Multi Disciplinary Modeling Course As A Foundation For Study Of An Engineering Discipline Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1338

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