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Embedding Lifelong Learning in Engineering Courses

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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

Assessment of Student Learning 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.479.1 - 23.479.14



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Paper Authors


Nidal Al-Masoud Central Connecticut State University

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Dr. Al-Masoud, Associate Professor, earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University at Buffalo, The State University of New York in 2002. Dr. Al-Masoud has taught at both graduate and undergraduate level courses at University at Buffalo, he joined Central Connecticut State University as an Assistant Professor in 2003. At CCSU, he teaches courses at all levels in the three major areas in mechanical engineering, namely: mechanics, Thermo-fluid, and Control Systems and Dynamics. Dr. Al-Masoud research interests are in the fields of Control Systems and Dynamics, HVAC systems, and Engineering Education. He has numerous journal and conference proceeding publications in the aforementioned area, and was the winner of the ASEE Mechanics Division Best paper Award in 2006. He has an extensive experience in Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC) design.

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Viatcheslav Naoumov Cental Connecticut State University

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Viatcheslav Naoumov, Professor, Ph.D., Dr. of Science, Distinguished Scientist of Russian Republic of Tatarstan.
Current affiliation: Cental Connecticut State University

Graduated from Kazan Aviation Institute, College of Aircraft and Rocket Engines (Russia). During his 26 years in academia he worked as Assistant, Associate, Full Professor, and Departmental Head at Kazan Aviation Institute, and Visiting Full Professor at Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering Department at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2007 he joined CCSU School of Engineering and Technology as an Associate Professor.
He taught about 30 undergraduate and graduate courses; was scientific advisor of multiple Ph.D. and Dr. of Science Dissertations. Area of research and teaching interests - Propulsion, Aerothermodynamics, Combustion and Heat Transfer. Instrumentation. Performed research projects for Russian and French Aerospace Agencies, NASA, DOE, DOD, and Automotive Company SAAB. Author of 3 monographs and 115 research papers and contractor reports, published in the USA, Russia, France, Poland, Hungary, Brasilia.

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Steven Joseph Kirstukas Central Connecticut State University

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Steve Kirstukas is an Assistant Professor at CCSU, where he teaches courses in solid modeling, MATLAB programming, and engineering mechanics. He is exploring the use of virtual reality to enhance the engineering design process. He has degrees in civil and mechanical engineering, with a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Steve has worked in industry as a civil engineer, software developer, biomechanics researcher, and mechanical design engineer.

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Embedding Lifelong Learning in Engineering CoursesAbstract The accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the National Academy ofEngineering (NAE) established a set of attributes that engineering graduates should possess upongraduation. These attributes include both technical and non-technical skills and competencies;generally, the latter is not as well-defined as the former. Thus, assessment of the non-technicalcompetencies is more challenging and harder to assess. This paper presents several strategiesembedded in our courses along with the assessment methodologies and data analysis andconclusions. Several courses are included in this study at sophomore, junior, and senior levels. InEngineering Dynamics, the method is based on a short term-paper addressing application ofdynamics principles to several sports, and application of the concept of Coriolis acceleration andaero planes and missiles, meteorology, and oceanography. Similarly, in undergraduate fluidmechanics, the method is based on a term-project in which students perform in-depth analysis,produce a technical report, and use various resources to learn new material independently intopics not discussed in class such as life sciences, physical sciences, astrophysics andgeosciences, sports , daily-life, and various engineering disciplines. Another course included inthis study is “Instrumentation’, the rapidly changing field of measurements, sensors, software,and data analysis tools, make it incumbent on students to learn new material and adapt to thepace of change. This course is unique compared to other engineering courses since it requires awide background and continuous learning in various fields such as fluid mechanics,thermodynamics, heat transfer, strength of materials, electrical circuits, and electronics. Being“open-ended” Instrumentation course cultivates and develops lifelong learning skills.In Senior Capstone Design course the assessment procedure focused on the project addressed tothe synthesis and design of a complete mechanical engineering system, participation in teamdesign and fabrication effort, including oral presentation and team design report. For instancestudents are involved in design/research project where they perform experimental research oncombustion of non-conventional bio-derived fuels for hybrid propellant rocket engines. Suchproject requires self-learning of new material on the two-phased combustion, chemicalthermodynamics, which was not introduced in the program and analysis and research on currentpapers on subject matter. As a result of this project students are required to produce researchreport and submit and present research paper at national or international research conference,thus they get valuable skills and develop competencies applicable in their future engineering andresearch activities.The survey and grading rubric of these projects and reports examine several attributes oflifelong learning such as curiosity which represents the depth of exploration, independencewhich is an indicator of self-learning, and the ability to build up on the previous knowledge andexperiences. The impact of conducting the research on the students’ ability to “learn how tolearn” on their own is assessed using a survey in which they are asked to reflect on their abilitiesin various research related activities. Peer-reviewed publications and books are the only allowedsource of information in this project. Evaluations rubrics, surveys, research topics, along withfindings from the current semester are presented in this paper. 

Al-Masoud, N., & Naoumov, V., & Kirstukas, S. J. (2013, June), Embedding Lifelong Learning in Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19493

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