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Facilitating Vertically Integrated Design Teams

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Design in the ECE Curriculum

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

14.620.1 - 14.620.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5739

Download Count

228

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Paper Authors

biography

Gregory Bucks Purdue University

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Greg Bucks is a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Purdue University with an expected graduation date of May 2010. He received his B.S. from Penn State and M.S. from Purdue University in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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William Oakes Purdue University

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William Oakes is the Director of the EPICS Program, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education with courtesy appointments in curriculum and Instruction and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He is an active member of ASEE having served on the boards of the FPD and CIP as well as co-chairing the 2005 FIE Conference for ERM. He has been recognized by Purdue University, the National Society of Professional Engineers, National Campus Compact and the National Academy of Engineering for his work in engineering education.

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Jeffrey Richardson Purdue University

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Jeff Richardson is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He is an EPICS advisor and leading an effort to engage more students from Technology in the EPICS Program.

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

Facilitating Vertically Integrated Design Teams

Abstract

Engineering educators face daunting challenges in adapting their curricula to prepare students to prosper in the global economy. As technology continues to advance, there is a need to cover the latest technology without compromising the fundamentals that are so important for engineers. Multidisciplinary teams comprised of multiyear engineering students can be utilized to facilitate the broad sets of skills needed for success in engineering. These teams provide an opportunity for the students to learn communication and presentation skills, learn how to work in teams to solve problems, and interact with real customers, to mention a few. While working in multiyear teams, older students, seniors and juniors, mentor younger students to assist in developing leadership skills. The younger students are integrated into real engineering projects earlier in their careers giving them a genuine engineering experience that serves to address retention challenges facing many engineering programs. A challenge, however, is creating projects that both challenge the older students and allow the younger students to participate. At Purdue University, vertically integrated teams are brought together to address the needs identified in the local community. LabVIEW tools are utilized to allow the younger students to get up to speed on the projects and participate in areas such as data acquisition, data analysis, and microcontroller programming. This paper describes how the vertically integrated teams are formed, provides an overview of the processes that are used to integrate the teams, and provides specific examples of projects where these tools are utilized.

Introduction

The importance of significant design experiences to prepare undergraduate engineering students for engineering careers has been well-documented1-4. These experiences typically emphasize the application of technical skills as well as professional skills, such as communication in both written and verbal form, working as a team, and customer interaction. The need for such experiences has spawned many innovative approaches to capstone senior design courses. However, capstone senior design courses do not include underclassmen. Earlier design experiences have become more common and have shown to be valuable in motivating students to continue in engineering programs4. Most courses of this type are confined to one academic period (e.g. semester or quarter) and are intended to give the students an intense exposure to the design process in a single engineering discipline, since these experiences typically involve students at one academic level from a single major.

An alternative model would involve combining students from varying levels (freshman through seniors) into multidisciplinary teams. Under this model, students would participate for several semesters or years on various projects. As the students progress from first and second-year students to junior and seniors, they take on more leadership roles. In such a model, the more senior students act as mentors for the younger students, helping to motivate them, while teaching them to apply the basic skills they are learning in their introductory and fundamental courses.

Bucks, G., & Oakes, W., & Richardson, J. (2009, June), Facilitating Vertically Integrated Design Teams Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5739

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: © 2009 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