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An Innovative Interdisciplinary Student Project: Engineering and Nursing

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Technical Session

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.179.1 - 22.179.12



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Paper Authors


Kenneth Reid Ohio Northern University

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Ken Reid is the Director of Freshman Engineering and an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science at Ohio Northern University. He was the seventh person in the U.S. to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. He is active in engineering within K-12, serving on the JETS Board of Directors and 10 years on the IEEE-USA Precollege Education Committee. He co-developed “The Tsunami Model Eliciting Activity” which was awarded Best Middle School Curriculum by the Engineering Education Service Center in 2009, and was named the Herbert F. Alter Chair of Engineering in 2010. His research interests include success in first-year engineering, introducing entrepreneurship into engineering and engineering in K-12.

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Susan M. Montenery Ohio Northern University

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Professor Susan Montenery is an Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Department of Nursing at Ohio Northern University. Susan received her B.S.N. from the Ohio State University and her M.S. in Nursing Education from Walden University. She is actively pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing. Her primary research interests include dynamics of student-faculty relationships and enhancement of nursing clinical judgment.

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Courtney M. Hetrick Ohio Northern University

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A sophomore Mechanical Engineering major with biomedical and applied mathematics minors. She is involved with American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Society of Women Engineers. She is also a member of the varsity swim team and a lifeguard on campus. She was the female freshman recipient of the 2010 DeBow Freed Award for Outstanding Leadership at ONU for excellence in academics, athletics, and leadership in various organizations and projects. Her career goals include obtaining a job in research and development or project management in the field of biomedical engineering to help bridge the gap between scientific discovery and public availability.

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An Innovative Interdisciplinary Student Project: Engineering and NursingTypical projects involving engineering students identified as ‘interdisciplinary’ usually involvedifferent disciplines within engineering. Projects that are truly interdisciplinary can bediscovered when faculty from different areas of campus work together toward development of aproject involving students from outside their discipline. This paper presents results of one sucharrangement.During a tour of a new nursing laboratory, engineering noticed possible design improvements invarious manikins (life-sized anatomical human models) in the nursing laboratory. A team of firstyear engineering students was given the opportunity to work with an upperclass student with aninterest in biomedical engineering and faculty from nursing and engineering toward designimprovement in Noelle™, a manikin who simulates birth through both cephalic presentation andmalpresentation; head or feet first.The students were charged with nearly all aspects of the project including preparing a proposal,documenting progress, reporting to faculty and community on the status of the project and a finalposter presentation and engineering report.The final project involved two specific redesigns. First, a microphone that simulates fetalheartbeats was repositioned and rewired since the cords were often damaged during the birthsimulation. Second, both the umbilical cord and its attachment point to the baby manikin wasredesigned because the original attachment point weakened the umbilical cord and often led to abroken and unusable cord. The attachment into the baby manikin was fitted with a push-lockconnector and the free end of the umbilical cord was capped off in order to fit comfortably intothe new attachment point.This report offers information to allow similar Universities, especially those without a formalbiomedical engineering undergraduate program, to explore the implementation of similarinterdisciplinary projects. It includes a description of the working arrangement between facultyin nursing and engineering and the student team, description of deliverables from the studentteam, results of the design implementations, and discussion of professional skills developedthrough the process. The report will also include testimonials from the students with a self-assessment of the value of the project.

Reid, K., & Montenery, S. M., & Hetrick, C. M. (2011, June), An Innovative Interdisciplinary Student Project: Engineering and Nursing Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17460

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