June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.73.1 - 23.73.10
A Multidisciplinary Hydroelectric Generation Design Project for the Freshman Engineering ExperienceA two-semester Introduction to Engineering course sequence at the authors’ institution hasMechanical Engineering (ME), Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Electrical andComputer Engineering (ECE) students together for the first semester, and they are separated intotheir disciplines during the second semester. A final project in the second semester was desiredthat could bring the students back together to make discipline-specific contributions to a multi-disciplinary project. The chosen project was a hydroelectric generation project in which the MEstudents designed a water wheel to work in a laboratory flume, the ECE students designed apermanent-magnet generator with wireless monitoring, and the CEE students designed astructure to support the wheel and generator. In addition to designing their respectivecomponents, the students had to communicate between disciplines to define interfaces andrequirements for their designs so all the components could work together as a larger system. Thefirst year of the project was successful in that the student teams were able to design workingcomponents that functioned together in a system to generate electricity, and the experiencegenerated several lessons-learned that will be used to enhance the experience for the next class offreshmen. The paper will discuss the scope of the design problem and the resulting designsolutions, the lessons learned, and the improvements for the second cycle of the project.
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