New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
To tackle the societal grand challenges of the 21st century, this article proposes that the concept of translational research has valuable applications within a broad engineering context to better prepare the professionals of the future. Translational research is commonly found in the medical field and closely related disciplines, but there is limited literature pertaining to its use in engineering education despite its suitability for the latter. The proposed translational research and education model has been leveraged in an undergraduate research course with focus on research, design, and implementation of sustainable solutions in developing countries through multidisciplinary service-learning projects. Translational research connects theoretical research with practical implementation, bridging the ‘valley of death’ between academia and real-world application.
This paper details how translational research can be applied in an engineering education setting, provides a framework for its use, and discusses the benefits to students, faculty, and society. The paper provides highlights of an application of the translational research model at Clemson University in which students in multidisciplinary teams research novel and adapted solutions to societal problems, work through multiple funding sources, and collaborate with community stakeholders to implement infrastructure solutions. The facets of translational research will be defined, as well as differentiated from problem-based learning and service-learning. Initial data supporting the educational outcomes gained from this learning style will be discussed. Overall, the case is made for the expansion of translational research from academic medicine into engineering education, while retaining the core concept of bringing ‘theoretical knowledge and experimental breakthrough to practice.’
Ogle, J. H., & Plumblee, J. M., & Vaughn, D. E., & Gordon, A. S. (2016, June), Enhancing Students' Learning Experiences through Translational Research in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26714
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