Asee peer logo

Experience with Mentoring and Directing Graduate Student Research at a Distance in a Mechanical Engineering Program

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Research and Graduate Studies

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.566.1 - 23.566.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Vincent Capece University of Kentucky

visit author page

Vincent R. Capece is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Capece received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1980, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1982, and Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1987.

visit author page


John R. Baker University of Kentucky

visit author page

John R. Baker is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky Extended Campus Program in Paducah, KY. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. After obtaining his B.S., he spent three years working in the Plastics Division of Eastman Chemical Products, Inc. He entered his current position in July 2000.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Experience with Mentoring and Directing Graduate Student Research at a Distance in a Mechanical Engineering ProgramThe University of AA College of Engineering has established mechanical and chemicalundergraduate engineering programs in western state-name. These extended campus programsare located over 200 miles from the main campus, and they are the direct responsibility of themain campus College of Engineering dean. Since the mechanical and chemical engineeringprograms at the extended campus are distinct from their main campus counterparts in terms oflocation, facilities, administration, and support services, the programs sought and receiveddistinct ABET accreditation.The AA faculty positions, with the exception of the initial program director, are special-titleseries. These positions are primarily upper division nine-month teaching appointments.However, due to the nature of the extended campus program, these appointments involveadditional assignments, including student recruitment, undergraduate laboratory and computersoftware development, assistance with student summer job placement, and professionaldevelopment. The traditional responsibilities involving instruction, academic advisement, anduniversity service also apply. Because of these unique responsibilities and the limited access tograduate students, the expectation for research productivity is less than for the faculty on themain campus. However, the faculty members are expected toperform research and advise graduate students.Since the extended campus programs are undergraduate degree programs, graduate studentclasses beyond a few dual-level courses offered via distance learning are not available. Whilesome students have completed their graduate courses on the main campus and then relocated tothe extended campus to complete their research, it is more common for the graduate students toremain on the main campus for their entire graduate student program. This requires the facultymembers on the extended campus to use distance communication technology to advise and directthe research efforts of the graduate students located on the main campus. This paper will providean overview of the experience of the authors in the development of research programs inmechanical engineering in a distance education setting, including strategies used to help studentsovercome communication issues with remotely located faculty members, the use of distancecommunication technology, how to manage distance experimental programs, and a descriptionof the extended campus concept.

Capece, V., & Baker, J. R. (2013, June), Experience with Mentoring and Directing Graduate Student Research at a Distance in a Mechanical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19580

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: © 2013 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