June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Minorities in Engineering
12.774.1 - 12.774.6
GE Design Competition - Opportunities and Challenges for Minority Engineering Students Abstract
Industries around the country routinely collaborate with engineering and engineering technology programs in providing opportunities and challenges for senior design projects. Capstone design faculty recognize the value of industry-sponsored projects offering students hands-on exposure to the design process. In the General Engineering (GE) program at the University of Wisconsin- Platteville (UW-Platteville) freshmen and sophomore are introduced to engineering topics from a variety of engineering majors that are available in the college. Efforts are made to provide introductory information on different engineering disciplines to help students decide on an engineering major. A one credit course is offered to students in their second semester that requires students to work on at least four interdisciplinary projects put together by faculty from the degree granting departments. But until they reach their senior year and work on their senior design capstone projects, there is little scope of ‘innovation’ and broad exposure to open-ended design problems.
In collaboration with General Electric HealthCare, the GE department at the UW-Platteville established an annual design competition. In 2005, General Electric funded the seed money for the project. GE students work in groups of five to come up with a conceptual design and prototype of a device. They begin in October and make their final presentation at the General Electric headquarters in Milwaukee the following May. Each team is required to involve at least two engineering disciplines, must include a student of freshman standing within its members, and must include one student who is a member of an under represented minority group - an ethnic minority or a female. All entries are rated on their degree of innovation, originality, relation to health care engineering, quality of the proposal, and clarity of the plan to implement the proposed designs. Teams, advancing to the second round, are required to give an oral presentation at the GE-HealthCare headquarters in Milwaukee before the judging panel. Upon completion of the designs, and presentations, a panel of General Electric engineers selects the top three entries to be awarded prizes. In the first year of this competition, there were eight entries, and according to the judges the top three designs were patent worthy.
This paper describes the planning, organizing, and methods to implement the design competition, and discusses the possible future improvements in involving under represented minority students in such activities.
The General Engineering (GE) Program is designed to prepare students for admission into one of seven professional engineering programs available at UW-Platteville. All new freshman engineering students and transfer students who do not immediately qualify for a professional program must begin their studies at UW-Platteville in the General Engineering Department.
Masoom, A., & Masoom, F. (2007, June), Ge Design Competition ? Opportunities And Challenges For Minority Engineering Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2528
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