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Experiences In Integrative Research And Education Projects With Undergraduate Engineers

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.252.1 - 4.252.7

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Winston F. Erevelles

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2263

Experiences in Integrative Research and Education Projects with Undergraduate Engineers

Winston Erevelles Kettering University


Academic careers offer engineering faculty an array of activities that they are expected to participate in - these include teaching, research and publications, laboratory development, student advisement, accreditation documentation, committee work, and service to professional organizations, to mention a few areas of involvement. Time constraints, the diversity in the set of responsibilities, and promotion/tenure expectations cause faculty to be very selective in the energy concentrated on these tasks. The general trend has been to focus on either teaching or research as the major activity - a choice that is, in many cases, determined by the mission of the university. Traditional paradigms have further dictated the separation of teaching and research activities - a separation that is keenly felt in predominantly undergraduate institutions.

However, a lot of engineering faculty have started merging their teaching and research activities creating a synergy that benefits all participants in the process. In recent times, undergraduate research and the integration of research into educational activities has been scrutinized by various institutions nationwide and has been a topic of funding interest to several agencies. According to the National Science Foundation, undergraduate research allows students to experience first-hand how basic research is carried out, and to make contributions of consequence to various fields(1). The development of models that successfully integrate teaching and research involves the investment of significant time, resources, and skill. It is therefore important to review the successes and failures of efforts at various sites. One such site for integrative research and education at the undergraduate level is Kettering University.

Overview of the University and Selected Laboratory Facilities

Kettering University is a fully cooperative private engineering college which offers various ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering of which Manufacturing Systems Engineering is one. The Kettering system of education is unique with its five-year, fully cooperative program featuring alternating 12-week academic terms and cooperative assignments in industry. Although in its early days the Institute had only one sponsor, today the university has over 550 cooperative employers with over 700 locations nationwide. During the final phase of the program, each student undertakes a thesis on a significant problem faced by the cooperative employer, under the joint supervision of a faculty member and an industrial advisor.

Erevelles, W. F. (1999, June), Experiences In Integrative Research And Education Projects With Undergraduate Engineers Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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