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Advanced Vehicle Research In A Multidisciplinary Project Laboratory

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.69.1 - 3.69.7



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Paper Authors

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T. T. Maxwell

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J. C. Jones

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D. L. Vines

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M. E. Parten

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

Session 3626

Advanced Vehicle Research in a Multidisciplinary Project Laboratory

M. E. Parten and D. L. Vines T. T. Maxwell and J. C. Jones Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX 79409


This paper describes the use of advanced vehicle research projects in a multidisciplinary capstone design laboratory course offered in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Departments at Texas Tech University. The course uses projects from industry, research efforts and other faculty initiatives.

A number of research projects involving alternative fuel and hybrid electric vehicles are used in the senior project laboratory. These projects involve essentially all aspects of automobile subsystems design and fabrication including internal combustion engine (ICE) fuel metering and control, hybrid vehicle (ICE/electric motor) control, structures, fluids, heating and air conditioning, vehicle suspension, transmission, brakes, electrical subsystems, advanced system control and electronics. Although the project team is frequently large, the students do an outstanding job of integrating their efforts and coming together as a truly effective working unit.


In the fall semester of 1994 the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Departments at Texas Tech University began a multidisciplinary senior design project laboratory program. Two courses were established by integrating the Electrical Engineering Department's Senior Project Laboratory courses (two 3-semester credit hour courses) with the Mechanical Engineering Department's Design I and II capstone design courses (two 3-semester credit hour courses). The Electrical Engineering Department has a long history of project laboratories.1-5 The Mechanical Engineering Department has been involved in alternative fueled vehicles for a number of years. Both departments had worked together on a number of special projects and felt the need, as have many others6-11, for an increased interdisciplinary program for engineering students. The goals of these new courses were:

a) to have the students develop an understanding of engineering design projects from recognition of a need and definition of design objectives through completion of the project b) to foster student creativity c) to broaden the students concept of engineering problems to include other engineering disciplines and other non-engineering factors that have an impact on the final problem solution d) to provide a unique educational experience for students on project teams and ] e) to enhance the students communication skills

Maxwell, T. T., & Jones, J. C., & Vines, D. L., & Parten, M. E. (1998, June), Advanced Vehicle Research In A Multidisciplinary Project Laboratory Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6909

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