San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.562.1 - 25.562.10
Engineering Technology Interdisciplinary ProjectsAttendees will understand the advantages and challenges of implementinginterdisciplinary service projects for graduates from an engineering technology program.Data will be presented that indicates the costs and benefits of projects includingtroubleshooting, retrofitting, designing and manufacturing components for a donated diecast machine, a rotary fatigue bend tester, an environmental simulation test chamber, anddevelopment of a CPR mattress manufacturing process for the departments of Civil,Material Science and Biomedical Engineering.In the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program each student completes a twosemester capstone project sequence to meet the requirements for graduation and tocomply with ABET standards. Implementing capstone projects in conjunction withindustry partners presents several challenges. Some of the challenges that may be facedinclude; project completion timelines that do not align with academic calendars,proprietary information that cannot be shared, and the difficulties of schedulingcollaborative meetings with students and the industry project lead personnel. Budgetconstraints are an additional barrier, especially during a slow economy that may not allowfor companies to donate resources for sponsoring student run projects. With the goal inmind to offer a real world experience for students in a capstone project we decided tolook in rather than out for a solution.Interdisciplinary service opportunities alleviate some of these difficulties and provide areliable source of capstone experiences for product design and development projects.Examples of projects include redesign of laboratory equipment that may exist indepartments that has fallen into disrepair, been donated by industry, or that needs to beretrofitted to serve a new purpose. As a result of utilizing this otherwise non value addedequipment, the projects fulfill the University sustainability strategic goal as well asdepartmental education needs.As far as student abilities required, equipment retrofit projects require integration ofelectromechanical skill sets satisfying the high job growth area of developing proceduresfor, utilizing, and servicing test equipment. Additional benefits are the student exposureto fields like biomedical product development which require innovative manufacturingmethods, and implementation of technical writing communication skills which arenecessary for creation of operations and safety manuals to accompany these pieces ofequipment. Interdisciplinary service projects allow students the opportunity to researchcustomer requirements, develop solutions and solve problems with faculty and studentsfrom units outside their own department. While the educational benefits for theengineering technology student are numerous, the final result of interdisciplinary serviceprojects benefit students from the service departments because of the improvedlaboratory equipment.
Irwin, J. L., & Wanless, D., & Sanders, P., & Wagner, S. W. (2012, June), Engineering Technology Interdisciplinary Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21319
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015