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Designing Undergraduate Engineering Lab Experience To Satisfy Abet Ec2000 Requirements

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Innovations in Laboratory Studies

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.380.1 - 13.380.13



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Paper Authors


Ali Al-Bahi King Abdulaziz University

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Dr. Ali M. Al-Bahi is professor of aerodynamics and flight mechanics in the Aeronautical Engineering Department of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has a 20 years teaching experience in Aeronautical Engineering and was graduated from Cairo Univ., Egypt and ENSAE, France. Prior to joining the department he built a practical engineering experience by working for the aircraft industry in Egypt. He published numerous papers in CFD, applied aerodynamics, and flight mechanic. Since 2002 he became interested in assessment and accreditation and was responsible for coordinating the efforts of the department for ABET (SE) accreditation. He is actually the acting director of the college Academic Accreditation Unit. Dr. Al-Bahi is a Registered Professional Engineer in Egypt and senior member of AIAA.

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

Designing Undergraduate Engineering Lab Experience to Satisfy ABET EC2000 Requirements

Ali M. Al-Bahi King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Engineering is a practical discipline. It is a hands-on profession where doing is a key element. Practicing engineers use research laboratories and development laboratories to obtain experimental data to guide them in designing and developing a product and/or to determine if a designed product performs as intended. Engineering students, on the other hand, need to go to laboratories to build up essential skills and abilities required for the engineering profession in general, and particularly those required to deal with industrial research and development laboratories.

In January 2002, ABET, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, held a 3-day colloquy to explore the issues related to the true goals of students’ undergraduate lab experience. The aim was to determine, through consensus, taxonomy of laboratory learning objectives, which could be validated and disseminated throughout the educational community. A final list of 13 objectives was developed as the desired outcomes of a successful lab experience accumulated over an engineering curriculum.

In the present work a practical approach is presented to meet these fundamental objectives. A set of students’ learning outcomes for an experimental design course is developed together with a set of assessment rubrics for different types of lab experiments. Also an assessment rubric for the write-up given to the students for a design of experiment is also presented.

The work is complemented by a form to evaluate student’s lab experience in an engineering program. The form is used to develop an action plan to improve this lab experience as a case- study of a program preparing for an ABET accreditation visit under EC2000.


Since Engineering is a practical discipline and a hands-on profession where doing is a key element, undergraduate engineering laboratories are essential to prepare the future engineers to fit into the profession. In their comprehensive paper on the role of the laboratory in engineering education, Fiesel and Rosa1 explored the milestones of that role as follows: Prior to the creation of engineering schools, engineering was taught using apprenticeship approach. Early engineers had to design, analyze, and build their own creations through learning by doing. From the earliest days of engineering education, laboratories have been an essential part of any engineering curriculum. Prior to the emphasis on engineering science in the early seventies most engineering instruction took place in the laboratory.

Al-Bahi, A. (2008, June), Designing Undergraduate Engineering Lab Experience To Satisfy Abet Ec2000 Requirements Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3416

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