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First In Engineering: A Service Learning Approach To Mechanical Design

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

multim engr edu;dist.,servi&intern based

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.562.1 - 7.562.10



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Paper Authors

author page

Ann Wright

author page

Andrew Wright

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

Main Menu Session 2002-109

FIRST in Engineering: a Service-Learning Approach to Mechanical Design

Andrew Wright, Ann Wright

University of Arkansas at Little Rock/Hendrix College

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) formed the Donaghey College of Information Science and Systems Engineering (DCISSE) in 1999, and founded the Systems Engineering department. The first four semesters of the program expose students to a broad range of general engineering skills, including CAD, design theory, basic circuit theory and lab techniques. Students are exposed to fundamental concepts in engineering science, such as vectors, forces, dynamics, stress, and strain. The focus areas for the program, in the junior and senior years, are telecommunications and computer systems. Once these areas have been fully developed by May 2003, a control systems track is planned. Students have the flexibility to take several junior and senior level elective courses to either broaden their exposure or to attain depth in a specific area.

Systems engineering is an emerging discipline with international significance. 1 Systems engineers must not only design complex systems, they must also deploy and manage these systems throughout the global community.

Hendrix College has a program in which students can complete three years towards a BS in Physics at Hendrix and undertake the junior and senior years of an engineering program and accomplish both a BS in Physics from Hendrix and a BS in engineering from the partner school.

Within this context, a mechanical design course aimed at both Systems Engineering students and Physics students and which fulfills a technical elective is being developed. This student population does not have the mechanical analysis skills of a traditionally trained mechanical engineer. The terminology to allow communication with mechanical engineers, the attributes of the most commonly occurring mechanical elements, and tools to facilitate design decision making are the concepts which are incorporated into this course. Mechanical analysis, measurement, and prototyping are seen as equivalent sources of information, and the course emphasizes how and when to acquire such information. The student must learn how to communicate with a technician or a mechanical engineer to acquire the test or analysis.

Mechanical engineers also need to communicate with other engineers and technicians. Mechanical engineers are specialized and cannot perform all types of analyses either. Instead of stressing analysis in a design class, design skills are stressed. Therefore, this

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Wright, A., & Wright, A. (2002, June), First In Engineering: A Service Learning Approach To Mechanical Design Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10099

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