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Impact of Bioinspired Robots on Veterans Pursuing STEM Degrees

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

STEM Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Otilia Popescu Old Dominion University

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Dr. Otilia Popescu received the Engineering Diploma and M.S. degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, Romania, and the PhD degree from Rutgers University, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her research interests are in the general areas of communication systems, control theory, signal processing and engineering education. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and serves as the Program Director for the Electrical Engineering Technology Program. In the past she has worked for the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at San Antonio, Rutgers University, and Politehnica University of Bucharest. She is a senior member of the IEEE, serves as associate editor for IEEE Communication Letters, and has served in the technical program committee for the IEEE ICC, WCNC, RWW, VTC, GLOBECOM, and CAMAD conferences.

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Vukica M. Jovanovic Old Dominion University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Vukica Jovanovic is an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering Technology Program. She holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering Technology, focus on Digital Manufacturing. Her research is focused on mechatronics, digital manufacturing, digital thread, cyber physical systems, broadening participation, and engineering education. She is a Director of Mechatronics and Digital Manufacturing Lab at ODU and a lead of Area of Specialization Mechatronics Systems Design. She worked as a Visiting Researcher at Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Disputanta, VA on projects focusing on digital thread and cyber security of manufacturing systems. She has funded research in broadening participation efforts of underrepresented students in STEM funded by Office of Naval Research, focusing on mechatronic pathways. She is part of the ONR project related to the additive manufacturing training of active military. She is also part of the research team that leads the summer camp to nine graders that focus on broadening participation of underrepresented students into STEM (ODU BLAST).

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Krishnanand Kaipa Old Dominion University Orcid 16x16


Karina Arcaute Old Dominion University

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Dr. Karina Arcaute received her BS in Chemical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico de Chihuahua, and her MS (Mechanical Engineering) and PhD (Materials Science and Engineering) from the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Arcaute is an Assistant Professor in the Department of STEM Education and Professional Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

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Anthony W. Dean Old Dominion University

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Dr. Anthony W. Dean has had several roles in academia. He is currently Assistant Dean for Research, Batten College of Engineering and Technology (BCET) at ODU. His previous appointments include Associate Professor of Engineering Technology and as Associate Director of the Institute for Ship Repair, Maintenance, and Operations at Old Dominion University (ODU).His research has focused mostly on control systems (integration and testing) and the reliability and maintainability of complex systems. He has been selected as both a NASA and an ONR Faculty Fellow. He regularly teaches courses in Marine Engineering and in Maintained Systems. Most recently Dr. Dean was on the Headquarters Staff the American Society of Naval Engineers. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, and a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering Technology, from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. Additionally, Dr. Dean received an MBA from the College of William and Mary. Prior to is academic career Dr. Dean was Director of Operations and Business Development for Clark-Smith Associates, P.C., and served as an Electrician in the US Navy aboard the USS South Carolina and the USS Enterprise.

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The gap in the area of advanced manufacturing skilled workforce and the efforts in guiding veterans towards STEM careers are merged in the NSF funded project presented in this paper. While a lot of products and educational programs are currently available for young population, various K-12 levels, to increase their interest in STEM and engineering careers in particular, a limited availability of such programs addresses adult population, and veterans were the group targeted by the project presented here. The study presented focuses on developing and implementing a series of workshops for veterans that uses bio-inspired robots as a learning platform. The design, making and controlling of bio-inspired robots require knowledge of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, and have the potential to spark interest in a wide variety of engineering pathways. The paper discusses the topics covered by the workshops, the scaffolding of the activities, and the assessment conducted on how the bio-inspired robotics activities may influence veterans’ attitude towards advanced manufacturing careers.

Popescu, O., & Jovanovic, V. M., & Kaipa, K., & Arcaute, K., & Dean, A. W. (2019, June), Impact of Bioinspired Robots on Veterans Pursuing STEM Degrees Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32925

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