June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.212.1 - 11.212.9
An Undergraduate Research Experience in Engineering Technology
To initiate the development of an autonomous vehicle to participate in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, a multidisciplinary undergraduate research course was established during the summer of 2005 within the Engineering Technology Department. This was the first time an undergraduate research component has been offered to students within the Engineering Technology Department at the University of Dayton. The course was conducted using an independent study format with several team meetings to monitor individual student progress and to provide collaborative feedback to the students. The participants were expected to perform activities related to both research and design. The course layout, the final student designs and the course evaluations are provided in this paper. The instructor and student evaluations of the course did conclude that future implementations need to provide the students with more structure and guidance through the initial research phase to ensure the level of research being conducted is at the technology level and not the product level. Overall, the students left the course with an expanded appreciation for the research, design and analysis aspect of engineering.
The Engineering Technology Department at the University of Dayton (UD) provides every student with ample applied learning experiences and encourages students to seek industrial experience either through co-op positions or internships. To provide students with a meaningful exposure to engineering research, an undergraduate research course was developed. While the engineering technology students at UD are familiar with engineering design at the application level, few are ever exposed to engineering research at the technology level.
It has been said that the role of the university is to transfer knowledge, generate knowledge and apply knowledge 1. Most would agree that college courses are primarily geared at transferring knowledge using traditional lecture based courses. Within the UD Engineering Technology Department course projects and associated industrial experiences such as internships, coop positions and the senior capstone project provide students with the numerous opportunities to apply their knowledge through the engineering design process. The generation of knowledge is typically overlooked in the students’ college experience. By introducing students to a research activity, they are provided an opportunity to generate knowledge and more importantly learn how to think individually.
There are multiple levels of engineering research including research at the system level, which is typically referred to as system integration, research at the technology level which investigates an individual technology removed from any applied contexts, and research at the theory level that is concerned with the development of new mathematical and scientific processes. While many engineering research projects are focused on the scholarship of discovering, engineering technology research is best focused on the scholarship of discovery 3.
Schneider, S. (2006, June), An Undergraduate Research Experience In Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1041
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