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Design Across The Curriculum: An Evaluation Of Design Instruction in a New Mechanical Engineering Program.

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Design Related

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Sean Stephen Tolman Utah Valley University

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Sean S. Tolman is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Program at Utah Valley University in Orem, UT. He earned his BSME degree at Brigham Young University in 2002 and a MSME degree from the University of Utah in 2008 before returning to BYU to pursue doctoral studies completing a PhD in 2014. He spent 8 years working in the automotive safety industry specializing in forensic accident reconstruction before becoming a professor. He teaches courses in engineering design and solid mechanics.

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Matthew J. Jensen Utah Valley University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Matthew J. Jensen received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2006. Matthew received his doctorate from Clemson University in 2011 in Mechanical Engineering, focused primarily on automotive control systems and dynamics. During his graduate studies, Matthew was awarded the Department of Mechanical Engineering Endowed Teaching Fellowship. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Utah Valley University. His research interests include applications in automotive/transportation safety, electro-mechanical systems, data analysis strategies and techniques, and engineering education.

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Design Across The Curriculum: An Evaluation Of Design Instruction In A New Mechanical Engineering Program.

Engineering design is a critical learning outcome for a mechanical engineering curriculum. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires that Mechanical Engineering programs demonstrate that graduating students have “an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.” (ABET Criterion 3) Design has also been identified as curricular pillar for modern engineering programs in recent reports such as in the MIT Engineering Department initiative on New Engineering Education Transformation report.(Graham, 2016) recently created a new Mechanical Engineering Program. The new program has given a lot of attention to including the engineering design process in the curriculum. Currently students are introduced to the design process in their first-year engineering course. This course challenges students to learn about and apply the design process by applying the process to a semester-long design project. Design is reinforced in several classes during the students’ sophomore and junior years with emphasis on different aspects of the design process. For example, in a course on Machine Design, students are given a design challenge wherein the focus is to apply analysis techniques for calculating the stress and choosing appropriate failure modes to create a part that can endure the loads anticipated during use. In their senior year, students take a full-year Capstone design course sequence which serves as a culminating experience in engineering design and requires students to apply all of the knowledge and skills acquired during their studies to complete a sponsored design project. This study has two main purposes: 1) to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum of a new Mechanical Engineering program in helping students to learn and apply the design process and 2) to investigate and propose a curricular strategy for improving design instruction across the curriculum. A survey of current students in all four years of the program is presented and discussed to assess the current state of design instruction and its effectiveness in student comprehension of the design process. Based on the survey assessment, a model for how to include and better reinforce the design process across the curriculum is proposed. This model will be implemented and evaluated in future works.

Tolman, S. S., & Jensen, M. J. (2021, July), Design Across The Curriculum: An Evaluation Of Design Instruction in a New Mechanical Engineering Program. Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36901

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