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Cooperative Methodology For Successful Integration Of Undergraduate And Graduate Research Projects

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

13.337.1 - 13.337.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3126

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

biography

James Klein University of Idaho

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James M. Klein received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma Christian University in 2005. He is currently working towards his M.S. degree in electrical engineering at the University of Idaho. His research interests include power electronics, energy storage, and electric drives.

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Herbert Hess University of Idaho

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Herbert L. Hess (S'89-M'92-SM'02) received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1993. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Idaho, Moscow. His research interests include power electronics, electric machines and drives, and power quality.

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Brian Johnson University of Idaho

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Brian K. Johnson (M'92-SM'07) received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1992. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Idaho, Moscow. His interests include HVDC transmission, FACTS, custom power technologies, energy storage, utility applications of superconductivity, power system protection, and electromagnetic transients in power systems. Dr. Johnson is a member of CIGRE and is a Professional Engineer in the states of Wisconsin and Idaho.

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

Cooperative Methodology for Successful Integration of Undergraduate and Graduate Research Projects

Abstract

The effectiveness of integrating a structured undergraduate senior design course with the relative freedom of an individual graduate research project is presented in this paper. A cooperative methodology is outlined which serves to ensure that the project is appropriately distributed throughout the entire research team. Benefits of this team integration technique are documented and it is shown that all parties involved are rewarded accordingly. For example, the undergraduate student gains not only technical information from the graduate student, but also the opportunity to learn from a fellow engineering student who has previously completed similar senior design curriculum. The graduate student gains the ability to accomplish a greater amount of research in a shorter amount of time by paralleling project tasks through the efforts of the undergraduate students. The university benefits by providing the project sponsor with a final product that far exceeds their expectations. Along with the benefits, this paper also presents specific problems that may arise due to combining undergraduate and graduate students into a single, cohesive research team. These problems include the definition of leadership roles and an even distribution of workload. In conclusion, these problems will be shown to pale in comparison to the benefits of creating an integrated research team.

Objective

The objective of this paper is to document the potential benefits and pitfalls of integrating a senior design research project and a graduate level research project. The data and perspectives presented in this paper are a result of the first hand experience of an electrical engineering graduate student, referred to as the subject throughout this paper, who has had the opportunity to work with two different senior design teams. The main advantage of this single subject study is that the authors are able to uncover specific characteristics of the integrated research team approach without delving into generalizations where only the average viewpoint prevails1. Conversely, the results obtained from a single subject study may not properly lend themselves to accurate generalizations and should not be applied blindly to all situations. Therefore, the authors of this paper impress upon the reader the succinctness of this study.

As a point of clarity, it should be noted that the subject occupied two distinct roles within each senior design team that he worked with. For the first research project, the subject spent the first semester of the senior design course as a graduate mentor to an undergraduate research team2. At the start of the second semester of the project, the subject essentially became an additional member of the design team and was truly integrated alongside the undergraduate team members. For the second research project3, the subject served only as a graduate mentor for the senior design team and did not become as involved as in the first project. Numerous papers have been written detailing the benefits and effectiveness of graduate mentoring for senior design curriculum4,5, as well as mentoring in general6,7. This paper is not intended to negate those findings in any way. This paper is simply intended to show that a truly integrated design team

Klein, J., & Hess, H., & Johnson, B. (2008, June), Cooperative Methodology For Successful Integration Of Undergraduate And Graduate Research Projects Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3126

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015