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Developing design courses in a project-based curriculum

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education (DEED) Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.397.1 - 23.397.10



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Paper Authors


Cyrus Habibi P.E. Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Dr. Habibi is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Engineering at Minnesota State University-Mankato. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering. Following his postdoctoral appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he joined the Iron Range Engineering (IRE) program in August 2011. The IRE is an innovative, 100% project-based, upper division engineering program located in Virginia-Minnesota which promotes learning in the context of engineering projects, professionalism and reflection (metacognition). His research in the area of engineering education is focused on project-based learning, design and innovation, professionalism and self-directed learning.

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Ronald R Ulseth Iron Range Engineering

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Ron Ulseth directs and instructs in the Iron Range Engineering program in Virginia, Minnesota and he teaches in the Itasca Community College engineering program in Grand Rapids, MN. He was instrumental in growing the Itasca program from ten students in 1992 to 160 students in 2010. In 2009, he worked with a national development team of engineering educators to develop the 100% PBL curriculum used in the Iron Range model. He has successfully acquired and managed over $10 million in educational grants including as PI on seven grants from NSF. He has been in the classroom, teaching more than 20 credits per year to engineering students for more than 20 years. His specific areas of expertise are in active learning, faculty development, and learning community development. He has been awarded the 2012 Progress Minnesota award, 2012 Labovitz Entrepreneurialism award, and 2012 Innovator of the Year award from the Rural Community College Alliance all for his work in developing the Iron Range Engineering program. His B.S. in Civil Engineering is from the University of North Dakota, and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering is from the University of Central Florida. He is licensed as a professional engineer in the state of Minnesota

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Michael Richard Carlson

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Developing design courses in a project-based curriculumDesign is an important part of engineering curricula in which students integrate and applytheir knowledge to design products or address problems. Special attention has been given todesign courses at engineering colleges across the nation and worldwide. The design processgenerally has been identified as scoping, generating, evaluating and realizing ideas; however,teaching design is to some extent ill-defined since it has been taught in many different ways.Project-based programs, specifically in engineering, provide active learning environments forstudents to learn in the context of a project. The projects may be faculty or industry definedwhich also might be real-life problems. Iron Range Engineering, as a 100 percent project-based program, motivates learning by providing industry-defined and –mentored projects.IRE students complete first two years of their program at local community colleges and thenjoin the program for their junior and senior years. The students must enroll in 4 designcourses, each 3 credits, called Design I, Design II, Capstone Design I and Capstone DesignII.Recently, we developed a new method of teaching design which fits in the four designcourses. In this method, students not only learn and practice major design components suchas scoping, generating, evaluating, and realizing ideas; they have opportunities to learn otheraspects of design such as computer simulation, economic analysis, reliability, sustainability,etc.In this paper, we explain the following:Design at the heart of a completely project-based curriculumDesired design outcomesDesign components (18 aspects of a design)Team project vs. individual workRubrics for each aspect

Habibi, C., & Ulseth, R. R., & Carlson, M. R. (2013, June), Developing design courses in a project-based curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19411

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