April 9, 2021
April 9, 2021
April 10, 2021
An unfortunate and continuing premise is that neither the undergraduate Electrical Engineering (EE) nor the Mechanical Engineering (ME) degree programs can accommodate within their curricula a substantive sequence of EE or ME courses. This is predicated because the EE and ME disciplines seem to be rigid within their threads, prerequisites, and electives. Yet there is a natural intersection between EE and ME for continued professional opportunities in the 21st century.
To break this seeming impasse an interdisciplinary program between EE and ME had been initiated as an Engineering (BSE) degree in 2012, received accreditation in 2018 and in 2020 obtained academic concentrations in Electromechanical Engineering (EME) and Energy and Power Engineering (EPE). The BSE EME and EPE degree programs resides in the new Department of Engineering, Technology, and Management (ETM) in the College of Engineering, rather than within either the EE or ME Departments.
Only existing courses in EE and ME with their prerequisites are integrated into these academic concentrations for the BSE degree. This implies no additional courses or faculty and assures compliance with the general criteria for accredited baccalaureate programs and utilization of existing assessment activities for the program educational objectives and student outcomes. However, the interdisciplinary Engineering program also uniquely within the College includes three requisite courses in economics, business and management.
The BSE EME degree program emphasizes electromagnetics, transducers, electronics, digital processing, mechanics of solids and machine theory and design to integrate these components into electromechanical devices and systems for automated manufacturing processes and robotics. The BSE EPE degree program emphasizes electromagnetics, electrical power and electronics, electromechanical energy systems, energy generation and delivery and alternative energy resources and spans the control of large utility systems to energy harvesting devices for microsensors. The ETM Department has the responsibility to ensure all aspects of the program including continuous improvement of the interdisciplinary curricula, co-operative work study assignments, capstone design projects and professional employment. Faculty advisors from both EE and ME provide support for appropriate course selection, seamless integration and continuing professional development. This was important for success because once the interdisciplinary program was promulgated there were a number of transfers from the EE and ME degree programs. The response of the constituents of the interdisciplinary BSE program has been encouraging.
Described here is the BSE EME and EPE curricula and the academic and administrative path taken in its development to date. But more importantly presented here are the pitfalls that were avoided to obtain accreditation and an academic concentration for such an interdisciplinary Engineering program from the EE and ME discipline programs.
Silage, D. A. (2021, April), EE and ME – Together Again: Electromechanical and Energy and Power Engineering Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/36296
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