June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.74.1 - 14.74.10
A New Mechatronics Curriculum within an Accredited BSE Program
In 2002, an engineering program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree was initiated at the University of Southern Indiana (USI). Requirements of the degree include 30 credit hours of engineering core, which covers most of the material in the general portion on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. With approval from an advisor, students select an additional 30 credit hours in their area of interest - civil, electrical, or mechanical. After receiving ABET accreditation in 2007, a committee was formed to study the feasibility of combining mechanical and electrical courses in a way that would be desired by the region’s manufacturing employers, and to accommodate students with broader interests. The resulting curriculum in mechatronics engineering fits within the BSE framework and only requires the development of one new course. This multidisciplinary field combines aspects of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering for the design and analysis of products, components, and/or systems; such as electronic control of mechanical machines, electronic control of manufacturing systems, robotics, and design of electrical-mechanical-hydraulic machines, vehicles, and aerospace applications. The development of the Mechatronics program takes advantage of the flexibility of the BSE program, which allows for the addition of courses and programs without requiring additional ABET accreditation. This paper should be of interest to other BSE program facilitators who are considering starting a specialty in mechatronics.
The University of Southern Indiana supports regional industry with graduates of a recently ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) program. The program was launched in 2002 as a transition from a very successful, applications-oriented Engineering Technology program. A primary challenge in developing BSE program was to provide the hands-on knowledge sought by regional employers, while still maintaining the depth of study required within an ABET-accredited engineering degree. After extensive discussions with the department's Engineering Advisory Board (EAB), students, staff, and ABET advisors, a program of study was originally developed to include three areas of interest: civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering.
Current requirements for degree include 30 credit hours of engineering core, which covers most of the material in the general portion on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. In addition to the typical mathematics and science requirements, courses within the Engineering Core include Electrical Circuits, Statics, Dynamics, Fluids, Thermodynamics, and Strength of Materials, as well as design courses, both at the introductory level for entering freshman and at the capstone level for graduating Seniors. After completing the core courses, students must complete an additional 30 credit hours of technical electives in their specific area of interest. Elective course selection is guided by an advisor to ensure that the appropriate amount of design work is
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