June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.274.1 - 13.274.11
Capstone Courses for Applied Engineering Technology Students
Drexel University’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies has offered a co-op-based Applied Engineering Technology (AET) major since 2002. The program comprises three concentrations in Electrical, Mechanical, and Industrial Engineering Technology and provides an integrated educational experience directed toward developing the ability to apply the knowledge gained in the college to the solution of practical problems in the engineering technology field. The majority of courses are fully integrated with training and laboratory experience to provide students with a strong foundation of engineering practices and to stimulate students’ interest by using a problem solving approach in state-of- the-art laboratories. Key factors in the development process included creation of the educational laboratories that can significantly contribute to the development of technologically literate students and workforce that could be in great demand not only in the tri-state area but also nationwide. Several laboratory- and project-based courses were developed and four of them, such as Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials, Programmable Logic Controllers, Measurements, and Robotics and Mechatronics, are described in this paper.
The Applied Engineering Technology (AET) program at Drexel University was initiated as a response to job- and education-related issues expressed by government, academic institutions and industries across the nation. Since fall of 2002, Drexel has been offering its AET major in collaboration with the Delaware County Community College (DCCC) under a dual model, in which the students can pursue both AAS and BS degrees concurrently at DCCC facilities. In fall 2004, the AET major became available to the students at Drexel who intend to pursue the BS degree on a full- and part-time basis. The AET program’s content provides an integrated educational experience directed toward developing the ability to apply the fundamental knowledge gained in Drexel’s Goodwin College to the solution of practical problems in the engineering technology fields. The AET program clearly distinguishes itself from traditional engineering programs by applying a hands-on approach to the delivery of the courses. Over the past three years several state-of-the-art laboratories were developed. A key factor in this process is the creation of the educational laboratories that can significantly contribute to the development of technologically literate students and workforce that could be in great demand not only in the tri-state area but also nationwide.1,2 The establishment of the state-of-the-art laboratories allows Drexel and its community college partners to develop training options for engineering technologists located in the region’s key industries. Four capstone courses are described in this paper.
These courses complement the Senior Design Project capstone three-term, nine credit sequence and encourage students to apply their previous knowledge and experience in solving real-world engineering problems and develop skills in making professional presentations and writing technical reports. Experience gained by students during the laboratory sessions is often applied in their senior design projects and during their co-op cycles. For example, currently one of the senior design project teams is developing an automated thermocouple welder. Experience obtained by students in the Robotics and Mechatronics and Programmable Logic Controllers courses is being utilized during this senior design project. Another senior design project team is applying the knowledge and experience in ultrasound nondestructive testing (NDT) and robotics to develop an automatic scanning system for NDT applications. The newly developed courses “Energy Conversion” and “Microcontrollers” will follow the described model.
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