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Business And Engineering Project Interaction

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Education by Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.278.1 - 9.278.9



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Paper Authors

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Jim Rand

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Don Bowie

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Donald Peter

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Anthony Donaldson

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


Don Bowie, Anthony Donaldson, Don Peter , J im Rand

Seattle Pacific Univer sity

Abstract As a result of industry feedback and the ABET 2000 criteria, Seattle Pacific University (SPU) has introduced a multidisciplinary interactive experience between the business school and the electrical engineering department. This paper reports the way this interaction was implemented through a teaming effort undertaken between the School of Business & Economics and the Department of Electrical Engineering,utilizing professors from both departments who all possess considerable industry experience. A primary objective is to provide the student with experiences associated with high-tech business operations. The effort, now in its fourth year, consists of cross-discipline instruction for a Business Operations Management class and an Electrical Engineering class, inter-disciplinary combined class workshops, and classroom and laboratory exercises for student teams, with each team comprised of members from both the business class and the engineering class. One key activity is for the business students to educate their engineering counterparts about their analytical work on a business case study, and do it well enough so that the engineering students will be equipped to make a formal Power Point presentation on it to a plenary session of students and faculty. Similarly, the engineering students are required to prepare their business counterparts to make the same kind of presentation on one of their projects or some technical principle of electrical engineering. These experiences provide powerful ”hands-on” venues in which students from differing disciplines are exposed to the diverse vocabularies and modes of thinking representative of actual professional working environments . This paper provides the basic classroom/workshop/laboratory activities that were undertaken, an indication of the educational experiences involved, a sampling of student verbal feedback, and future expansion considerations for this multidisciplinary interaction.

Intr oduction: Industr ial Involvement Since it’s inception in 1985, Seattle Pacific University’s (SPU) Electrical Engineering Program has had a history of industrial involvement. The senior design sequence was originally developed by Jon Parle from the Fluke Corp. and continues to have active industrial participation in the form of numerous design reviews. Originally Don Bowie served as a loaned executive from The Boeing Company and developed a junior design course with a project management emphasis. Currently he has been spearheading significant project management and business issues into design courses based on his experience and from advisory board feedback. In the academic realm it is all too easy for faculty and students alike to become so focused within the narrow confines of their discipline that they loose perspective on the fact that products and services are developed by cross-disciplinary teams.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Rand, J., & Bowie, D., & Peter, D., & Donaldson, A. (2004, June), Business And Engineering Project Interaction Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12927

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