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ECE/SYS Integration: A Strategy for Evaluating Graduates from a Multi-year Curriculum focused on Technology Systems Integration

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Systems Engineering Education and K-12

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.487.1 - 25.487.17



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Paper Authors


Reid Bailey University of Virginia

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Reid Bailey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia. His research interests focus on studying how students learn complex engineering skills such as engineering design and interdisciplinary collaboration. He received his B.S. from Duke University and both his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Joanne Bechta Dugan University of Virginia


Alexandra Coso Strong Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Alexandra Coso is a graduate student in the Cognitive Engineering Center at Georgia Tech, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. She received her B.S. in aerospace engineering from MIT and her M.S. in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. Coso is actively involved in the ASEE Student Division and the Graduate Engineering Education Consortium for Students, and she recently co-founded a Georgia Tech ASEE student chapter. Her research interests include the integration of cognitive engineering into the aerospace engineering design process, development and evaluation of interdisciplinary engineering courses and programs, mixed methods research designs, and graduate student experiences in engineering programs.

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Matthew E. McFarland University of Virginia

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ECE/SYS Integration: Early Findings on Graduates from a Multi-year Curriculum focused on Technology Systems IntegrationIn 2009, a group of seventeen students majoring in electrical, computer, or systems engineeringbecame the first class of Technology Leaders Program (TLP) students at the University of theBlue Ridge. The TLP is an undergraduate curriculum focused on developing knowledge andskills that address both component level design (electrical or computer engineering) while alsosystem level integration.The current situation for majors in electrical and computer engineering at the University of theBlue Ridge is that the curriculum focused on developing strong technical skills to design andanalyze electrical or computer engineering components. For systems majors, the curriculum isfocused on developing rigorous skills for approaching a problem from a systems perspective andfor modeling the performance of systems under conditions of uncertainty. The objective of theTLP is to develop systems engineering graduates with the ability to work on technology-orientedprojects and electrical/computer engineering graduates with the ability to integrate their domain-specific designs into larger systems.The purpose of this paper is to describe the research plan for determining how well the TLP isable to accomplish its objectives for graduates and to report early findings from this plan. Theinitial group of seventeen students are in their senior year during the 2011-12 academic year andall are completing capstone design projects. Five of the seventeen students decided to drop outof the TLP at various times during the last two years. Interviews with the seventeen students andwith their faculty advisors on their capstone projects will provide a baseline of data. In addition,measures such as the types of jobs each student pursues after graduation, the type and number ofinternships each student completed during their summers, and their academic success will beevaluated.

Bailey, R., & Dugan, J. B., & Strong, A. C., & McFarland, M. E. (2012, June), ECE/SYS Integration: A Strategy for Evaluating Graduates from a Multi-year Curriculum focused on Technology Systems Integration Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21245

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