June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Electrical and Computer
14.414.1 - 14.414.11
Design Competition: A Practical Approach to Improve Students Hardware and Software Skills
As the complexity of microelectronic systems is steadily increasing, universities must update their curricula to cope with the increased demands of research and development required in industry. By integrating digital design competitions into the undergraduate experience, students are better prepared to enter the field of engineering and make more meaningful contributions to their firms at an earlier rate.
Trying to address the current and future needs of the industry in the context of a global economy, instructors at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, USA, have integrated an annual Digital Design Competition open to engineering students from the above mentioned majors. Competitions at both schools have been sponsored by Digilent and Xilinx. These companies produce state of the art PLDs boards and CAD tools.
This paper summarizes five years of experience at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and two at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology , organizing such competitions. The logistics and challenges of the competitions, results of the past editions and plans regarding the future of these competitions at both schools are presented. Evaluations of the competition and students’ perceptions as an alternative learning experience were investigated through student surveys.
As the complexity of microelectronic systems is steadily increasing, universities must update their curricula to cope with the increased demands of research and development required in industry. By integrating Digital Design competitions into the undergraduate experience, students are better prepared to enter the field of engineering and make more meaningful contributions to their firms at an earlier rate.
According to a report published for The Royal Academy of Engineering, UK (2006)1, the pace of change in industry is expected to intensify in both the technological and non-technological domains. Particular themes that have emerged include: (a) an increased need for firms to focus on solving customer problems; (b) a growing requirement to provide system solutions to those problems; (c) and the increasing complexity of the management task. Another important factor is globalization which will continue to affect both the demand and the supply side of industry.
Certain disciplines, including electrical/electronic and system engineering are seen as particular likely to be of increasing importance over the next ten years. Looking at particular skills and attributes needed for engineers, there is strong evidence that the top priorities in terms of future skills will be: (a) practical applications, (b) theoretical understanding and (c) creativity and innovation. Also required are closer university ties and continuing commitment
Radu, M., & COLE, C., & Dabacan, M., & Harris, J., & Fazekas, A., & DABACAN, I. (2009, June), Design Competitions: A Practical Approach To Improving Students' Hardware And Software Skills Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5068
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