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Aiming for a System that Provides Closer to 100% of a Student’s Needs

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2021 ASEE North Central Section Conference


University of Toledo, Ohio

Publication Date

March 19, 2021

Start Date

March 19, 2021

End Date

March 20, 2021

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Craig J. Gunn Michigan State University

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Craig Gunn is the Director of the Communication Program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. He integrates communication skill activity into all courses within the mechanical Engineering program. He has co-authored numerous textbooks, including - Engineering Your Future.

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Aiming for a System that Provides Closer to 100% of a Student’s Needs

Over the years of thinking about what we offer to students in engineering, it is plain to see that there is a necessity to provide future engineers with the tools needed to function productively in society. When looking at how we prepare mechanical engineers it is fairly easy to see the needs of the customer. Whether it be mathematics, fluids, controls, vibrations, heat transfer, or design, the educational systems across the country and for the most part the world prepare students for their entrance into their careers. There is no argument in that, but as one looks at the whole body and not just the technical composition of our students, there is a need to continue to explore how we can provide closer to 100% of their needs and not just those of the technical body. Over the past twenty years or so, we have tried in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at XXX to delve into areas that are normally not on the radar of the mechanical engineering student. Those areas are “extras” in the teaching of students and if we take the time to question our students on what they have been asked to do outside of the technical pursuits, I believe that we will find that their perceptions of life in the real world will far exceed fluids and controls. The purpose of this paper is to look at all the things that have been experimented with over the years at XXX and in future papers prepare documentation that reflects the reactions of the students to these “extras.” Within this paper will be a description of all the attempts made to expand the horizon of our students, anecdotal remarks from students throughout the years, and a plan to gather information that, hopefully, will show that those “extras” are not really that. They are important elements in the education of the technical student, an education that must include a myriad of other topics to ensure that we have fully rounded students entering the workforce. With multiple descriptions provided, the reader should be able to see a variety of activities that could easily be incorporated at other institutions.

Gunn, C. J. (2021, March), Aiming for a System that Provides Closer to 100% of a Student’s Needs Paper presented at 2021 ASEE North Central Section Conference, University of Toledo, Ohio.

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