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Developing An Engineering And Technology Fundamentals Course

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Freshman Experience in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.448.1 - 14.448.14



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Paper Authors


Harry Franz University of Houston, Downtown

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Harry Franz is an Associate Professor in Control & Instrumentation and Fire Protection Engineering Technology at the University of Houston Downtown. He is a P.E. and member of the NSPE. He is a coauthor of an electrical engineering book and is a national board member of Tau-Alpha-Pi.

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Recayi 'Reg' Pecen

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Recayi Pecen is an Associate Professor & Program Coordinator of Electrical Engineering Technology at the University of Northern Iowa.

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

Developing an Engineering & Technology Fundamentals Course


The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of an up-to-date engineering and technology fundamentals course required for all engineering technology students in the University of Houston Downtown Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology degree programs. The course is required for students that major in the Structural Analysis Design, Fire Protection, and Control & Instrumentation degree programs. The goal of the course is to impart an understanding of engineering and technology fundamentals. This includes the use of computer basics of Microsoft Office, LabVIEW and Multisim. The students also complete a group project using various software packages. The focus of this paper is on the teaching techniques and the subjects presented in the course. The varied topic choices for the student project work are also discussed.

Many engineering and technology programs have added and deleted a first year course that presents the fundamentals of engineering and technology. This type of course is usually added when the students entering an engineering technology program are found to lack the necessary preparation for the program courses. On the other hand, this type of fundamentals course is often deleted when programs are streamlined to reduce the total number of required program credits.

Learning strategies and teaching methods used in the fundamentals course are discussed. To make the course topics seem easier a variety of methods are used. These methods include linear and non-linear proportion methods, and short-cut methods.


The goals for the Engineering and Technology Fundamentals course students are to obtain knowledge of standard engineering and technology methods, and learn software tools for applications. The knowledge of software gained in the course is used for technical report writing, project presentations, graphic visualization, engineering computation, and effective communication. Note that the students are not required to have previous knowledge of electrical circuits, digital logics, analog concepts, or software packages used in the course. The students ideally are first year students that take the course before any other engineering and technology courses, but often transfer students from higher levels take the course. In addition, the students come from varied backgrounds of diverse education and work experience. The students, nevertheless, smoothly work in teams on the course assignments and help each other learn the required topics.

Franz, H., & Pecen, R. R. (2009, June), Developing An Engineering And Technology Fundamentals Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4802

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