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Applying Systems Engineering Tools to Teach Systems Engineering in an Engineering Management Program

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Programs and Pedagogies

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Sandra L. Furterer University of Dayton

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Dr. Sandy Furterer is an Associate Professor at the University of Dayton, in the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology. She recently moved from industry as a VP of Process Transformation for a community bank in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Furterer received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with a specialization in Quality Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2004. She received an MBA from Xavier University, and a Bachelor and Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Furterer has over 25 years of experience in business process and quality improvements. She is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Quality Engineer, an ASQ fellow, and a certified Master Black Belt.

Dr. Furterer is an author or co-author of 4 reference textbooks on Lean Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma and Lean Systems, including her latest book: Lean Six Sigma Case Studies in the Healthcare Enterprise by Springer publishing in 2014.

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Engineers learn how to design engineered solutions by applying their specialty engineering disciplines, such as chemical, electrical, mechanical, aerospace, materials, and industrial engineering to name a few. Systems engineering tools and concepts help to integrate the specialty engineering designs together to better design and manage complex systems. These same systems engineering tools can be used to teach systems engineering to engineers. A graduate-level engineering management curriculum includes a Management of Engineering Systems course, whose key learning objective is for the students to be able to synthesize and apply the systems engineering methods and tools to a real-world system design project. This paper will describe how the instructor applied systems engineering tools to enhance learning of systems engineering tools and concepts in an engineering management course. The students applied the systems engineering tools in the course to design a system in teams of 4 to 5 students. The instructor assessed the students on their ability to apply the systems engineering tools through the team reports. The average students’ grades on their system design reports improved by 6% on the system engineering design reports assessments, from Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, and 5% from Spring 2017 to Fall 2017 (ANOVA alpha = 0.000181). However, the positive responses on the qualitative evaluation from the students’ perspectives on the Student Evaluation of Teaching question “I learned a great deal from this course” decreased from Fall 2016 to Spring and Fall 2017 semesters by 16% (94% to 78%).

Furterer, S. L. (2018, June), Applying Systems Engineering Tools to Teach Systems Engineering in an Engineering Management Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah.

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