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Breaking Down the Silos with an Integrated Laboratory Experience

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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

Design and the Capstone Experience

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Barbara E. Marino Loyola Marymount University

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Dr. Barbara E. Marino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Loyola Marymount University. She also serves as the Undergraduate Director for the Electrical Engineering Program at LMU. Her current research interests include engineering design and K-12 STEM outreach. Dr. Marino received the B.S.E.E. degree in 1989 from Marquette University and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1993 and 1996, respectively. In addition to her current positions she has held various positions at the Naval Research Laboratory and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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In many electrical engineering programs, students are required to demonstrate the success of their capstone design project by building and testing a prototype. Depending on the nature and complexity of the design specifications, the final product may be a composite of analog and digital, hardware and software, discrete components and off-the-shelf parts. The students are challenged not just by the design, but by the integration of these various types of technology. However, students are often ill-prepared to meet these challenges because of the nature of most course-based laboratory experiments and a lack of opportunity to work with off-the-shelf parts.

To address these challenges, a stand-alone laboratory course was developed and stocked with open-ended laboratory experiences for first semester seniors. Each experience was designed to be completed in 1-3 weeks, including 4-12 hours of lab time. Several of these laboratory design experiences were presented previously at ASEE. This paper and presentation describes several exciting new design experiences that have been developed and deployed over the past three years.

Survey results were used to assess the effectiveness of these new design experiences and of the course in general. The student responses were overwhelmingly positive. Students comments included, “Definitely the best class I’ve taken at LMU!” and “If you don’t enjoy this class, you’re in the wrong major.” The new laboratory design experiences will be described in the paper and presentation. Survey results will be presented along with reflections for further developments on this stand-alone lab course.

Marino, B. E. (2018, June), Breaking Down the Silos with an Integrated Laboratory Experience Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30155

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