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EE and ME – Together Again

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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

ECE Curriculum Improvement

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.458.1 - 23.458.7



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Paper Authors


Dennis A. Silage Temple University

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Dennis Silage received the PhD from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the College of Engineering at Temple University, teaches digital data communication, digital signal and image processing and embedded processing systems using FPGAs. Dr. Silage is past chair of the Middle Atlantic Section and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division of ASEE, recipient of the 2007 ASEE National Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2011 ASEE ECE Division Meritorious Service Award. He is the Director of Engineering Education for the College.

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EE and ME – Together AgainAn unfortunate premise is that neither the undergraduate EE nor ME degreeprograms can accommodate within their curriculum substantive ME or EE courses.Yet there is a natural intersection between EE and ME for professionalopportunities in the 21st century. To break this seeming impasse aninterdisciplinary program of study between EE and ME has been initiated as oneaspect of a General Engineering (BSE) degree with plans of study forElectromechanical Engineering and Energy and Power Engineering. This waspredicated because both the EE and ME disciplines are rigid within their threadsand prerequisites.Although General Engineering programs are often offered in a separate academicdepartment, this interdisciplinary degree was uniquely established with a programdirector and administered in the college, rather than within a department and with achair or designee. Only existing courses in EE and ME were integrated into theplans of study for the degree. This assures compliance with the general criteria forbaccalaureate programs and utilization of existing assessment activities for theprogram educational objectives and student outcomes.The director of the General Engineering program has the responsibility to insure allaspects of the program including continuous improvement of the interdisciplinarycurricula. The director is also the single interface between the program andindustry for co-operative work study assignments, capstone design projects andprofessional employment.Faculty advisors from both EE and ME provide support for appropriate courseselection, seamless integration and continuing professional development. This wasimportant for success because once the interdisciplinary program was promulgatedthere were a significant number of transfers from the EE and ME degree programs.Recent enrollment data show that as many students have selected these plans ofstudy in the interdisciplinary program as those in the EE and ME programscombined.These interdisciplinary plans of study in the General Engineering program betweenEE and ME have engendered optimism for a reversal of the trend of the decline inenrollment in the EE program. The response of the constituents of theinterdisciplinary program has been encouraging. Described here is the path to betaken in the development and the pitfalls to be avoided to establish such aninterdisciplinary program garnered from the experience to date.

Silage, D. A. (2013, June), EE and ME – Together Again Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19472

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