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Designing an Engineering Experience for Non-Engineers

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.343.1 - 6.343.11

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Paper Authors

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John Klegka

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Robert Rabb

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The United States Military Academy (USMA) has a balanced core curriculum to help promote the ability of all graduates to be creative problem solvers. Part of the core curriculum provides a basic knowledge of physical systems for all graduates. All graduates receive a B.S. degree in various disciplines, many in a non-engineering major or field of study. However, all graduates are expected to be technically competent in their future employment as military officers and are required to demonstrate proficiency in a five course engineering sequence. The Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering prepares students with a broad background in mathematics, science, and the humanities, but limited engineering problem solving skills through a sequence of engineering courses, from traditional Statics and Dynamics to Mechanical Design. Students undertake the mechanical engineering five course sequence during their final four or five semesters. The experience increases the students’ technological literacy, communication skills, ability to use the computer, and hands-on experience through engineering science instruction. Additionally, the progression of courses enhances student learning and ability to function as a member of a design group and gives the non-engineering students an appreciation for various engineering topics. This paper demonstrates how a five course sequence in mechanical engineering is designed to meet institutional educational objectives, reinforces fundamental engineering principles, exercises the engineering problem solving process, and exposes students from various disciplines to material they will encounter for years after graduation. The outcomes of this program are substantiated with student surveys and feedback from the various courses.

Klegka, J., & Rabb, R. (2001, June), Designing an Engineering Experience for Non-Engineers Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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