June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Universities with graduate programs typically focus on graduate research assistants seeking master’s and doctoral degrees. However, this focus can overlook students early in their college careers. As an introduction to research, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology devoted particular resources to undergraduate research and education. By creating an interdisciplinary laboratory environment where students can experience research first hand in their first few years in college, undergraduates can develop interests for research, regardless of their chosen engineering field.
Although the interdisciplinary concept was promoted at the Dean level, the coursework is implemented at the faculty level. Faculty was encouraged to provide training videos on all of the equipment, so students can train on their own time, rather than being constrained by a traditional lab and lecture framework. This allows students to start learning about research before taking courses on the subjects, freeing up their time to focus on multi-disciplinary problems.
The Sustainability Lab was designed to test solar panels, a wind turbine and battery rack. This is a multi-disciplinary lab where students from Business, Engineering, Construction, and Electrical backgrounds can learn about state-of-the-art technology. The solar panel installation is underway with student workers helping as part of the process. Students will have access to meters and software to determine the amount of electricity being produced.
This paper describes student participation in the lab and faculty use of the lab. Further the opportunities for interdisciplinary learning have been identified. As the laboratories available continue to come online in this new building, the usefulness and applicability of the interdisciplinary building will be revealed. A survey was conducted of current students to better determine the direction of the multi-function facility.
Holtzhower, D. L., & Mosier, R. (2019, June), A Survey of Undergraduate Students Utilizing an Interdisciplinary Laboratory Building Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32004
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