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A Sequence Of Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory Courses

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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

6.96.1 - 6.96.17



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Grover

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Terry Parker

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Robert King

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Joan Gosink

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

Session 1526

A Sequence of Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory Courses Drs. R. H. King, T. E. Parker, J. P. Gosink, T. P. Grover Engineering Division, Colorado School of Mines

1 Introduction

1.1 Background

Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science that has distinguished itself by developing high-quality graduates and scholarship. The U.S. News and World Report Inc. rated CSM 26th in the Top National Public Universities and 50th in the Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs with Ph.D. Programs in 20011. The school’s role as written in the Colorado statutes focuses on “energy, minerals, and materials science and engineering and science fields.” The sequence of multidisciplinary laboratory courses described herein lies within the engineering focus and is taught within the Engineering Division.

The Engineering Division is the largest program at CSM with approximately 850 undergraduate majors and 70 graduate students. This population represents a shift from the CSM’s historical earth science and engineering focus. The undergraduate program is an ABET accredited, non- traditional, interdisciplinary, Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering with specialties in civil, electrical, environmental, and mechanical engineering, as well as graduate degrees (M. S., M. E. and Ph. D) and research in engineering systems. The Gourman Report ranks the CSM Engineering Division fifth among general engineering programs2. Primary goals of the program are to provide students with a solid foundation in engineering fundamentals, the skills to adapt to rapidly changing and advanced technologies, and an aptitude for life-long learning. Uniqueness of the program is particularly evident with respect to its multidisciplinary span, heavy experimental component, large credit-hour requirement, and use of advanced technologies.

We recently replaced three traditional, closed, theory-verification laboratory courses in electrical circuits, fluid mechanics, and stress analysis with the Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory (MEL) course sequence3. Two key words in the title of this paper relay the uniqueness of the MEL approach: “multidisciplinary” and “sequence”.

1.2 Sequential Laboratory Courses at Other Universities

Several universities teach sequential laboratory courses focused on topical depth. For example, Texas A&M University connected a course in microprocessors and a course in electronic interfacing in a sequence4. Both have three hours of recitation and two of laboratory each week.

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

Grover, T., & Parker, T., & King, R., & Gosink, J. (2001, June), A Sequence Of Multidisciplinary Engineering Laboratory Courses Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9770

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