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Fluids And Circuits: A Combined Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Courses and Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.616.1 - 9.616.15



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Paper Authors

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Jean-Pierre Delplanque

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Marcelo Simoes

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Joan Gosink

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Catherine Skokan

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

Session 1171

Fluids and Circuits: A Combined Course

Catherine Skokan, Marcelo G. Simoes, J.P Delplanque, Joan Gosink

Colorado School of Mines

Abstract In response to a call from the National Science Foundation for curriculum reform and elimination of legacy materials in engineering curricula, faculty at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) developed and offered a combined set of course modules in Fluids and Circuits. These modules consisted of a two-credit interdisciplinary course in fundamentals, followed by two one-credit modules focusing on applications in fluids, and in circuits, respectively. The course set reduced the overall number of credits from six (three in each of the standard Fluids and Circuits classes) to four through the 2+1+1 format. The fundamentals course was based on conservation/accounting principles for the concepts of mass, momentum, energy, and charge. Applications courses developed these ideas in the respective disciplines. This paper discusses the combined Fluids and Circuits course, emphasizing the unifying themes and the reduction in course content, and includes an assessment of student comprehension and learning.

Introduction The demand for reform of engineering education is insistent and undeniable. Shaping the Future1 the Final Report of the Review of Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology, highlights the need for departments to take a leading role in the development of curriculum “that engages and motivates the broadest spectrum of students….”, and in the development of “meaningful connections with employers to provide appropriately responsive educational experiences for prospective … members of the work force”, and urges departments to “foster interdisciplinary education”. Nevertheless, there is complacency and a lack of enthusiasm for major curriculum and pedagogical reform. Among the factors discouraging reform are the traditions of each discipline regarding legacy materials, a lack of knowledge of emerging areas, and externally or internally imposed credit limitations.

The Division of Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) offers a design-oriented, interdisciplinary, accredited non-traditional undergraduate program in engineering with specialization in a branch of civil, electrical, environmental, or mechanical engineering. In the Division, we have a tradition of innovation with respect to interdisciplinary curriculum, a young and dynamic faculty (currently five NSF Career awardees), and relative freedom from

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Delplanque, J., & Simoes, M., & Gosink, J., & Skokan, C. (2004, June), Fluids And Circuits: A Combined Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13011

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