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Impact: Innovation Through Multidisciplinary Projects And Collaborative Teams

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Teams

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.829.1 - 12.829.12

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Paper Authors


Kelly Crittenden Louisiana Tech University Orcid 16x16

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KELLY CRITTENDEN is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Louisiana Tech University. He teaches within the Integrated Engineering Curriculum and Multidisciplinary Senior Design series. His interests are in promoting collaboration across discipline and college boundaries in order to stimulate innovation and advancements in engineering education. Dr Crittenden received his B.S. and Ph.D. in BioMedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.

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

teams meet with their advisors on a regular basis and will often treat the advisor as The frequency of team-advisor meetings are determined by the team and advisor, but average at least one contact per week. These contacts may be face-to-face, conference calls, web meeting, or written progress reports. The advisors also lend technical advice to the teams when needed.

Lecture Series

The IMPaCT program is foremost a teaching program and student learning is the main goal. Not only do the students learn by doing, but they also attend a weekly lecture series. This lecture series consists of traditional lecture, multi-media presentations, active learning exercises, and team building components. There are also several assignments such as progress reports, presentations, and exams each quarter. The list of lecture topics and assignments for the 2006-07 academic year can be seen in Tables 1 3.

The topics are divided into two broad categories: technical topics and business topics. The technical topics are taught by an engineering faculty member while the business topics are taught by a business faculty member. Guest lecturers are also brought in to discuss various other topics of interest. For instance an accomplished entrepreneur may be brought in to share their experiences in starting their own business. The weekly IMPaCT class time is scheduled for three hours in the afternoon. The lecture topic normally lasts one hour with the remaining time devoted to teamwork and progress reports.

The Fall quarter focuses on team-building, brainstorming and gathering the background information necessary for the product design. During this quarter, teams complete the University challenge course. This course is a low-ropes course designed to combine physical activity and problem solving to encourage team members to learn how to work together. The teams also are taught good brainstorming habits and how to manage and plan their team work. The teams develop several concepts and create a product design specification for their product. The teams also determine their plan of action for the year. The primary deliverables for this quarter are the product design specification and product concepts. The class schedule for the Fall quarter can be seen in Table 1.

Table 1. Fall quar ter IMPaCT class schedule. Class Topic Introduction to the syllabus 1 Video: The Deep Dive (ABC Nightline, 1999) 2 Class meets at the Challenge Course Develop a product idea from pictures and words. 3 Defining and Solving Design Problems. Videos on Lead Users 4 Formulating a Design Problem. 5 Concept Design

Crittenden, K. (2007, June), Impact: Innovation Through Multidisciplinary Projects And Collaborative Teams Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii.

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