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Contributions of a Mandatory Internship Course to an Engineering Curriculum

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Manufacturing Partnerships

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.337.1 - 23.337.18



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Paper Authors


Arif Sirinterlikci Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Arif Sirinterlikci is a professor of engineering at Robert Morris University. Besides advising Co-Op, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering students, he also serves as the Interim Head of the Engineering Department and Director of Engineering Laboratories. Sirinterlikci has been active in ASEE with K-12/Pre-college, Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Technology Divisions.

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Tony Lee Kerzmann Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Tony Kerzmann received both a bachelor’s of arts in physics from Duquesne University and a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. After graduating, Kerzmann enrolled in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated with a master’s of science and a doctorate of philosophy in mechanical engineering in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Kerzmann is currently an Assistant Professor and Mechanical Engineering Coordinator at Robert Morris University, where he teaches mechanical engineering courses, as well as courses on alternative energy. His research interests include hybrid concentrating photovoltaic systems, energy system life cycle assessment, renewable energy product development, and active learning.

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Contributions of a Mandatory Internship Course to an Engineering CurriculumThis small but growing engineering department hosts engineering programs in;biomedical, industrial, manufacturing, mechanical, and software engineering. Since itsinception each curriculum contains a mandatory practical experience course (ENGR4900) in which students receive a combined letter grade from the instructor and worksupervisor. Over the years many students successfully completed multiple internshipexperiences logging hundreds of work hours, even though only one 150 hour 3 creditsworth of experience can be counted towards their graduation. These internship positionshave led this engineering department to place its alumni in high paying engineering andmanufacturing positions in major industries and also yielded high overall job placementrates. In the early years of the ENGR 4900 course almost 100% of the students workedfor local industries to satisfy the requirements of this communication intensive courseincluding a final report, log/weekly journal, final presentation, and student self-survey.After completing their assignments, each student must present to their peers making eachstudent familiar with the other ENGR 4900 projects and associated experiences.However, increasing enrollment and diversified student goals are diverting some of theplacements from industrial based internships to in-house engineering and researchprojects, or off-campus research projects at other institutions such as the ones funded bythe National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)or the NASA Summer Programs These experiences are also treated similarly to theindustrial internships positions, since they are under the umbrella of the same course.This paper will present three forms of the engineering practice; industrial internships, in-house research projects, and off-campus research work. A variety of positions andprojects will be covered in the paper. The impact on student preparation through facultycourse assessment reports (FCARs), student feedback, and work supervisor feedback willalso be included in this paper. The additional benefits to the program, including studentconference papers, authorships and conference presentations will be discussed in thispaper as well.

Sirinterlikci, A., & Kerzmann, T. L. (2013, June), Contributions of a Mandatory Internship Course to an Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19351

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