June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.214.1 - 12.214.9
An Innovative Mechanical and Energy Engineering Curriculum Abstract:
The continuing expansion of the new College of Engineering at the University of North Texas (UNT) has created an opportunity to establish a new Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering and an excellent occasion for the establishment of innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to engineering education. The explicit addition of Energy to the Mechanical Engineering curriculum is a new model of engineering education that parallels the innovations of our current Learning to Learn (L2L) project oriented concept course with the addition of innovative approaches for mechanical engineering and emphasis on energy engineering education. The new Mechanical and Energy Engineering (MEE) baccalaureate-level program will provide the intellectual foundation for successful career preparation and lifelong learning for the students. This innovative curriculum has been designed with a system-level approach to ME- based design, on the fundamentals of undergraduate level energy engineering within the mechanical engineering discipline, and will provide experiential-oriented approaches for the better understanding of classical mechanical engineering principles. It will also provide a new interdisciplinary ME curriculum approach to the most important energy technology areas. We are going to present the curriculum and discuss components of the program from freshman to senior years. We expect that the graduates of this innovative undergraduate curriculum in Mechanical and Energy Engineering will have a unique educational experience with systems integration approach for addressing industrial challenges; working in interdisciplinary teams; and with cognitive learning experiences for responsible lifelong learning, in order to sustain creativity and productivity in their careers.
The origins of human civilization are indelibly connected to the harnessing of energy in the form of fire: The caveman improved his and his clan’s life by bringing fire (energy) into their caves/dwellings and using it for heating and cooking. Centuries later, the industrial revolution, which altered drastically the history and destiny of mankind, has its foundations in the harnessing of thermal energy by engines that produce mechanical work. Today, the wealth of modern nations and the welfare of their citizens depend greatly on the availability of affordable energy. Figures 1 and 2 that have been produced from data of the International energy Agency  show that the use of energy, either as total primary energy consumption or as electric power is directly correlated to both the affluence of a country and the longevity (which is equivalent to “better life”) of its citizens.
As we progress in the twenty-first Century as a Nation, the availability of affordable energy is becoming a major challenge that imposes constraints in our economic growth. It is apparent, that we need to harness more efficiently our existing energy sources, to develop new energy sources and to better manage our ways of production, distribution and consumption of energy. At the same time we need to be conscious of the effects of energy production and consumption on the environment. We must ensure that our activities of today do not harm the Earth the next generations will inherit. The events of the last five years and the direction the world economies are taking show that there is a national need for more, better trained and environmentally
Michaelides, E., & Mirshams, R. (2007, June), An Innovative Mechanical And Energy Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2501
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