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A Student Design Program That Integrates Research, Education, And Community Service

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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

6.103.1 - 6.103.9



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Paper Authors

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Robert Erlandson

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

Session 2793

A Student Design Program that Integrates Research, Education, and Community Service Robert F. Erlandson, Ph.D.

Enabling Technologies Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202


The Enabling Technologies Laboratory (ETL) has created a unique student design program that not only complements and integrates a student’s previous academic experiences, but also naturally integrates research, education, and community service into the student design activity. Developing such a program is difficult and requires a unique combination of institutional support, research interest, community support and involvement, and resources. The following will examine the role that each of these elements plays in creating the ETL student design experience. An overview of the student design process will be presented and the community impact of the student projects will be discussed.

Institutional Support and Research Interests

Institutional support for the ETL’s student design program has come in the form of laboratory space and equipment, and most importantly, time to develop and grow the program. The ETL is part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) in the College of Engineering at Wayne State University (WSU). The student design program offers a solid design experience for the students and concurrently supports the College’s mission of teaching, research and outreach, and service to the region, state, and nation. 1

The ETL conducts research on the impact and effectiveness of technologies that enhance human performance both physically and cognitively. The ETL also designs and develops products and processes to enhance human performance, with an emphasis on the needs of individuals with disabilities. Accessible design principles are key elements in these research and design activities.

Accessible design means to design processes, products, and services such that people with as broad spectrum of abilities as possible can access and use the processes, products, or services. Accessible design seeks to ensure physical accessibility through the use of sound human factors principles. In addition to physical accessibility, the design needs to provide cognitive accessibility-- that is, reduce memory requirements, computational demands, and possibly the elimination of reading requirements, so as to keep a process as simple as possible. Accessible design aids in reducing the variability associated with processes, jobs, and device performance by building in error-proofing and error-handling capabilities.

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

Erlandson, R. (2001, June), A Student Design Program That Integrates Research, Education, And Community Service Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9806

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