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Digital Health: A Sophomore Level Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Project 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

Integrating Design into the BME Curriculum

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.490.1 - 14.490.13



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Paper Authors


Patricia Mellodge

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Patricia Mellodge is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hartford. She received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island. Her graduate work was completed at Virginia Tech where she received an M.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Research interests include control system design, mathematical modeling of microwave processing, and bio-instrumentation.

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Brad Deschenes

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Brad Deschenes is an undergraduate student at the University of Hartford where he is pursuing a B.S. in Computer Engineering.

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

Digital Health: A Sophomore Level Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Project Course


This paper describes a biomedical engineering project developed by sophomores as part of a design class at the University of Hartford and also the pedagogical approach taken. Required for all of the engineering majors, the purpose of the course is to provide an in-depth study of the design process in the context of a real-world project. Students undertake design projects specifically chosen to meet the objectives of the course. In spring 2008, a new project section was offered that was related to the university’s digital health initiative.

The engineering curriculum at the University of Hartford aims to engage students in interdisciplinary design and real-world projects in each of their four years. As entering freshman, all engineering students are required to take a course in which they work with robots on various small projects. The sophomore course, described in this paper, is entitled Engineering by Design and it is the next course in the sequence. Its purpose is to involve students in a project that is more comprehensive and realistic than their freshman experience. The junior level course studies the engineering process from conceptual design to manufacturing. Finally, as seniors, the students take their capstone design course in which groups work on a single significant engineering problem that may be sponsored by an industrial partner. Throughout this course sequence, non-technical aspects of engineering are emphasized including group dynamics, teamwork, communication skills, leadership skills, and creativity.

Sophomore Engineering Design Course

The outcomes for the sophomore course, Engineering by Design, are not technical, but rather are related to areas such as formulation of ideas, communication, creativity, and analytical ability. Specifically, upon completing the course, students should be able to:

1. Formulate each step of the design process. 2. Work successfully in interactive groups. 3. Develop their creativity, imagination, and analytical skills. 4. Make informed ethical decisions. 5. Improve their written and oral communication skills.

These outcomes are achieved in two ways: by working on a project and by attending lecture. An ethics courses is taken concurrently to assist the students with outcome #4. This course is titled “Ethics in the Professions” and it provides several case studies in the health professions, business, media and the arts, and engineering. Students from several programs (including some non-engineering disciplines) enroll in the course and they prepare and debate case studies.

Engineering by Design is offered each spring and meets once per week for three hours. Three or four projects are offered that are related to the different engineering disciplines. Besides digital

Mellodge, P., & Deschenes, B. (2009, June), Digital Health: A Sophomore Level Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Project Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4832

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