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Baseball Stadium Design: Teaching Engineering Economics And Technical Communication In A Multi Disciplinary Setting

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.233.1 - 6.233.6



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Paper Authors

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James Newell

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Kevin Dahm

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

ASEE Session 1339

Baseball Stadium Design: Teaching Engineering Economics and Technical Communication in a Multi-Disciplinary Setting Kevin Dahm and James Newell Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

Abstract: Rowan University's Sophomore Engineering Clinic provides students with an introduction to engineering design and formal training in technical communication. The course is team taught by faculty from the College of Communications and the College of Engineering. During the past two years, a very successful Sophomore Clinic module on economic design of a baseball stadium has been conducted. Students are presented with a list of possible stadium designs, in which the major parameters are cost and seating capacity, and are challenged to determine which best meets the team's needs. Working in teams of 3-4, they analyze data to quantify the effect of team payroll on won-loss record, which in turn affects ticket sales and merchandising revenues. They produce an optimized economic strategy for running the team, the cornerstone of which is the stadium selection. To support this project, engineering classroom instruction is devoted to introducing the design process (~2 weeks), fundamentals of engineering economics (~6 weeks) and basic statistics (1 week). Concurrently, communications faculty members train students in public speaking.

At the end of the semester, students present their design in a simulated business meeting to engineering faculty, who portray the owners of the team, and communications faculty, who portray city officials. Students are thus challenged to convince two groups who may have very different agendas that their design is best. Consequently, the module provides a practical exercise in persuasive speaking that nicely complements the more familiar technical seminar.

Introduction: The Rowan University College of Engineering has a hallmark 8-semester, interdisciplinary engineering clinic sequence, intended to give students practical experience in engineering research and design, as well as technical communication. The full eight-semester sequence has been described previously in detail.1-4

Students in all four Rowan engineering disciplines (chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical) take the Sophomore Engineering Clinic, a course team taught by faculty from the College of Engineering and the College of Communications. Each week, three one hour and fifteen minute meetings are devoted to classroom instruction on technical communication- technical writing in the fall semester, public speaking in the spring semester. In addition, a three-hour lab session each week is devoted to engineering topics. Students work in multi-disciplinary teams of 3-4 on semester-long, open ended design problems. Deliverables are graded jointly by Engineering and Communications faculty, with technical merit and effectiveness of communication weighted equally.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Newell, J., & Dahm, K. (2001, June), Baseball Stadium Design: Teaching Engineering Economics And Technical Communication In A Multi Disciplinary Setting Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8950

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