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A Nontraditional Approach: Creating, Implementing, And Overseeing A Multidisciplinary Electromechanical Engineering Program

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.81.1 - 9.81.9



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Paper Authors

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Fred Driscoll

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

Session 1471

A Nontraditional Approach: Creating, Implementing and Overseeing A Multidisciplinary Electromechanical Engineering Program

Frederick Driscoll, Robert Villanucci Wentworth Institute of Technology

Abstract This paper describes the design, development, and oversight of a five year dual-discipline program in Electromechanical Engineering (ELME) at Wentworth Institute of Technology. It begins with the basic rationale behind the decision to design an interdisciplinary engineering program at the undergraduate level, and continues with a history of the program as it developed and matured over the past ten years, culminating with accreditation under EAC Criteria 2000. An in depth comparison is also made between the Electromechanical Engineering program and typical four year single-discipline programs, in both electrical and mechanical engineering.

Integral to the process of this program’s design and development was the establishment of a committee structure—the oversight component—consisting of an interdisciplinary group of faculty with a vested interest in the program’s success, its students’ achievements, and its ongoing work. The program committee currently consists of eleven faculty members who have volunteered from the Electrical, Mechanical, Applied Science and Mathematics, Humanities, Social Science and Management Departments. The committee is at the center of all program- related decisions from student entrance requirements, course development, assessment, curricular modification, and ultimately program accreditation. The working relationships that the committee members have cultivated along with the many and varied problems that they have encountered and solved in the past decade are examined in this paper.

Critical to the overall success of the program was both the initial and long-term willingness of the Wentworth administration to support the unusual concept of a five year dual-discipline engineering program overseen by a faculty program committee. A traditional departmental structure was not part of the program design. The success of the Electromechanical Engineering program is also the result of collaboration with all of the relevant constituent groups. The committee realized that designing a multidisciplinary curriculum was only part of the problem. An equally important component of a successful multidisciplinary curriculum is the oversight component that involves combining and coordinating course offerings from two traditionally separate engineering departments. This proved to be the real challenge.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Driscoll, F. (2004, June), A Nontraditional Approach: Creating, Implementing, And Overseeing A Multidisciplinary Electromechanical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13953

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