June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.453.1 - 12.453.10
Design for the Disabled as an Interdisciplinary Laboratory Project Abstract
The integration of design into engineering curricula is important for the education of well- qualified engineers. While all accredited engineering programs are required to provide a major capstone design experience, the integration of design throughout the curriculum is often challenging. The departments of biomedical engineering and industrial engineering at Western New England College have developed a design experience completed as a requirement in senior engineering laboratory courses. The design project experience is in addition to the capstone design courses. This experience was used to demonstrate students’ ability to function on multi- disciplinary teams, design a system within realistic constraints, and understand the impact of design solutions in a societal context.
A cornerstone of engineering education is design education. Accredited programs are required to provide a capstone design experience in which students integrate knowledge gained from their coursework. For many engineering programs, design education begins in the freshman year where students are introduced to the design process.1, 2, 3, 4 Following this freshman experience, many students are not required to implement the design process in a systematic fashion until they perform their capstone project . Integration of design across the curriculum is challenging since the outcomes of most lecture courses rely predominately on mastery of subject matter.
Both freshman and capstone design courses for biomedical engineering students often involve the design of assistive devices for disabled individuals.5, 6, 7, 8 Much of the impetus for these types of projects is the availability of funding from the National Science Foundation through the Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities program and its predecessor, the Bioengineering and Research to Aid the Disabled program. These programs have been providing funding for the design of assistive technologies by engineering students since 1988.9 This funding has helped initiate such capstone courses as Devices for People with Disabilities at Duke University.
In an effort to provide design opportunities for undergraduates outside of the freshman and capstone experiences, as well as a chance to work on multi-disciplinary design teams, faculty members in biomedical engineering and industrial engineering at Western New England College have developed a design experience completed as a requirement in senior engineering laboratory courses. Interdisciplinary teams of biomedical engineering and industrial engineering students, in collaboration with a local nonprofit agency, designed assistive technologies for disabled individuals to provide increased accessibility to employment opportunities. While the projects are similar to those performed in some biomedical engineering capstone design courses, the integration of such design projects into a laboratory environment, and the opportunity for students to work on interdisciplinary teams, make this experience unique.
Cezeaux, J., & Haffner, E., & Kaboray, A., & Hasenjager, C. (2007, June), Design For The Disabled As An Interdisciplinary Laboratory Project Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2199
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