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Educating Engineers On Global Issues Through U.S. India Research Experience Program Case Studies

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.508.1 - 14.508.14



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Paper Authors

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Pramod Rajan Auburn University

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P.K. Raju Auburn University

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Chetan Sankar Auburn University

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

Educating Engineers on Global Issues through US- India Research Experience Program Case Studies


Engineering students can understand global issues better in their curriculum if they are able to see examples of real-world issues happening in the industry. This paper describes the experiences in conducting a collaborative non-destructive evaluation (NDE) project between students and faculty members of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; a major laboratory in India; and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, India. The team at the NDE imaging and modeling lab at the Indian research center was keen in developing a robust algorithm for their automatic defect recognition (ADR) system for welds. The main problems the team faced in analyzing weld radiographs were (1) detecting weld defects in the presence of weld ripples and (2) detecting very faint defects occurring at the edge of the weld seam. The managers at this center wanted the team to develop new methodologies to identify defects in welds for analyzing the radiographs and solve the above problems. In order to bring this real-world issue into engineering classrooms, the authors developed a multi-media case study. The case study brings the problem to life in classrooms using video, audio, and pictures. The details of the case study are discussed in the paper

Keywords: real-world, collaborative, global issues, automatic defect recognition, case study


Case studies have traditionally been used to show that real-world decisions need to be made so that financial goals, technical needs, safety factors and credibility issues are simultaneously considered and weighed.1, 2 For the past ten years, the Laboratory for Innovative Technology and Engineering Education (LITEE) at Auburn University has been producing case studies in engineering, business and technology areas and has been successfully implementing them at Auburn and several other universities with a very high percent of positive feedback on them.

The graduate-level courses in the LITEE curriculum are a sequence of two classes that act as a case study development project for students participating in the International Research Experience for Students (IRES). The first semester course provides an introduction to how case studies are developed. The second semester is a fieldwork course in which the students actively work with industrial partners in India to research a problem and turn the results into a multimedia case study.

This paper discusses how the IRES program is conducted as a two-semester sequence at Auburn University. It also describes how a research problem at a company was converted into a case study for implementation in a classroom environment. In the next paragraph we give details about the IRES program.

Rajan, P., & Raju, P., & Sankar, C. (2009, June), Educating Engineers On Global Issues Through U.S. India Research Experience Program Case Studies Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5092

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