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Engineering Project Platform for Electrical and Computer Engineering Curriculum Integration

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Active Learning in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.503.1 - 24.503.14



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Paper Authors


Ramakrishnan Sundaram Gannon University

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Dr. Ramakrishnan Sundaram is on the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Gannon University, Erie, PA where he is a Professor. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. His areas of research include digital signal and image processing, artificial neural networks, and outreach in STEM education.

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ENGINEERING PROJECT PLATFORM FOR ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING CURRICULUM INTEGRATIONAbstractThis paper discusses how engineering projects developed on a centralized engineeringproject platform can integrate the undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering(ECE) courses across four-year ABET-accredited programs. This integration is viewed asan essential step to produce engineering graduates with skills that make them competitivein the global workforce. Typically, the courses in the ECE curriculum are taught asdiscrete units in relative isolation of each other. This approach does not effectivelydeliver the critical-thinking competencies that are required by the students at the system,sub-system, and component level for the design and validation of engineering projects. Inorder to promote problem-based, project-based and project-enhanced learning, the ECEdepartment at our institution has adopted the electric golf cart as the engineering projectplatform to restructure the ECE lecture and laboratory courses. The electric golf cartcomprises sub-systems such as the motor, power and, control which serve as thebackbone for laboratory activities designed for core and elective ECE courses such asdigital logic, electronics, electric drives, and embedded systems. Structured laboratoryexercises for individual students and unstructured integrated projects for teams ofstudents are identified in each ECE laboratory-based course. The structured laboratoryexercises teach and reinforce fundamental ECE theory through clearly definedapplications with known/expected outcomes. The unstructured integrated projects defineopen-ended project activities on the centralized golf cart platform for students to develop(a) student learning of ECE concepts at the system and sub-system level (b) skills relatedto project management and collaborative work. The core courses are restructured to teachthe students to (a) understand fundamental and advanced concepts (b) link and use thisunderstanding to structured and unstructured laboratory exercises developed on thecentralized project platform. The courses in the ECE curriculum which are classroom-based incorporate practical examples from the functionality of the centralized engineeringplatform.

Sundaram, R. (2014, June), Engineering Project Platform for Electrical and Computer Engineering Curriculum Integration Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20394

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