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Development Of A Curriculum For Mechanical Engineering Based Upon Intelligent Systems And Automation

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.407.1 - 7.407.15



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Paper Authors

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William Goodwine

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Steven Skaar

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Robert Nelson

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Mihir Sen

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James Mason

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Stephen Batill

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

Main Menu Session 1526

Development of a Curriculum for Mechanical Engineering Based upon Intelligent Systems and Automation S. Batill, S. Skaar, R. Nelson, B. Goodwine, J. Mason, and M. Sen University of Notre Dame


Realizing the need for mechanical engineering programs to adapt to an ever-diversifying competitive world, the University of Notre Dame is developing a new curriculum that includes focused educational experiences. This focus is based upon the opportunities provided by the synergism between traditional discipline elements and embedded computing in all forms of mechanical systems. These experiences will better prepare students for the continued proliferation of sensing, actuation and control technologies resulting in what are often referred to as intelligent mechanical systems. The primary elements of this curriculum development activity are supporting faculty development and interest, developing infrastructure and facilities, and collaborating with industry in order to integrate elements of intelligent, embedded computing systems across the curriculum. This involves striking a balance between fundamental concepts, algorithm development, hardware, and applications; and this is accomplished by threading these concepts throughout the curriculum. A new facility, the Intelligent Systems and Automation Learning Laboratory (ISALL) has been developed and it supports faculty and students in the development and execution of these new learning experiences.

I. Introduction

“In just five to 10 years’ time, the Web will be the preeminent forum for students to receive their class lectures. Thus universities will have to specialize to such a degree that there may be only a 1 handful of them offering lectures, via the Web, in any given area of engineering.” So stated Woodie Flowers (MIT professor and ASME’s 1999 Edwin F. Church Award winner for eminent service in mechanical engineering education) in his keynote address, “Why Change? Been Doin’ It This Way for 4,000 Years!” to a group of mechanical engineering department chairs at ASME’s 2000 Mechanical Engineering Education Conference. Flowers went on to say that this specialization will force university faculties to shoulder more of the responsibility for creating highly interactive educational environments, which put more emphasis on activities that can’t easily be duplicated on the Web. “Laboratory experience and multi-disciplinary group design projects involving teams of students at the same university and students at other universities may be the kinds of activities that learning institutions will use to distinguish themselves from each other.” 1

While this prediction may be extreme, the call for significant, purposeful, and timely educational innovation is widespread. The University of Notre Dame’s Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable, for example, referring in large part to competitive pressures which attend new electronic modes of communication, began its spring 2000 report with the words: “Change in higher education in the future will be rapid and far-reaching, ...“2 The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET, in response to emerging demands of the new economy, and

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Goodwine, W., & Skaar, S., & Nelson, R., & Sen, M., & Mason, J., & Batill, S. (2002, June), Development Of A Curriculum For Mechanical Engineering Based Upon Intelligent Systems And Automation Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11135

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