June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.607.1 - 26.607.16
Engaging Students in Multidisciplinary Projects in Unmanned Vehicles Technologies for Enhanced Learning ExperienceAbstractUnmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) and Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV’s) have potentialof reducing human casualty and cost for many dull, dirty, and dangerous missions. UAV’s areone of the fastest growing sectors of Aerospace Industry. However, there is a lack ofprofessionals entering the workforce for unmanned vehicles related jobs. This paper talks aboutinnovative multidisciplinary projects on unmanned vehicles technologies designed to increasestudents’ interest, involvement, and retention. Many aspects of unmanned systems are not orcannot usually be taught in classroom settings. Students and/or research projects are effectiveway of exposing students to the state-of-the-art in unmanned vehicles technologies.Multidisciplinary projects provide students opportunity to learn real-world problems and workin team environment.Main goal of the ongoing research projects is to increase the autonomy of the unmannedvehicles. Increased autonomy helps reduce the cost and human involvement. The projectsinclude many aspects of unmanned vehicles technologies such as Sense & Avoid, ComputerVision, Path Planning, Autonomous Routing, Geolocation Techniques, et cetera, and involvemore than 70 students from Aerospace, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical, and IndustrialEngineering, and Computer Science Departments. The projects also involve community collegeand high school students. The projects have been found to effectively engage students inlearning and help develop new understanding and knowledge. The students get ampleopportunity to develop theoretical understanding, by means of hands-on learning, and apply theknowledge to modeling, simulation, and experimental testing. The paper will discuss thesefindings.This paper also describes strategies to retain, recruit, and train lower level students for thesemultidisciplinary projects, which is expected to continue for several years into future, withfunding support from the Northrop Grumman Corporation. The projects have succeeded inretaining the students from previous years with the retention rate being more than 90% amongnon-graduating students. The returning students usually assume leadership roles and help trainthe lower level students. The paper also talks about outreach activities to minority student clubs,community colleges, and high school students for recruiting purposes as well as for motivatingthem to STEM fields. The student diversity has increased significantly compared to the firstyear of the project. The project is currently in its fourth year. It has been found, based onindustry feedback, that with involvement in multidisciplinary real world projects, studentsdemonstrate increased readiness for career in the industry. Students have also shown increasedinterest to graduate degrees.
Bhandari, S., & Aliyazicioglu, Z., & Tang, F., & Boskovich, S. M. (2015, June), Engaging Students in Multidisciplinary Projects in Unmanned Vehicles Technologies for Enhanced Learning Experiences Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23945
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