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Implementation of an Integrated Project-Based Approach Within an Established and EAC-of -ABET Accredited Interdisciplinary Electromechanical/Biomedical Engineering Program

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Technical Session

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.810.1 - 22.810.14



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Paper Authors


Salah Badjou Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Professor Salah Badjou, Ph.D. Wentworth Institute of Technology, Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Department, Boston, MA 02115, USA Email:,
Telephone: 617-989 4113. Salah Badjou received a B.S. in physics and mathematics and a physics from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and a Ph.D. in solid-state physics from Northeastern University,
Boston, MA. He has a combined multidisciplinary experience of more than 25 years university teaching, research, and industry. This includes two years, as a postdoctoral research fellow in chemical engineering at the National Center for Scientific Research in France (CNRS), and more than nine years teaching physics, electrical and mechanical engineering, mathematics, chemistry, physical science, astronomy, biology, and earth science at several colleges and universities throughout the U.S. He worked as a high-voltage R&D engineer at Thomson Consumer Electronics, Lancaster, PA from 1998 to 2000, and as a consultant in biomedical imaging (PET). He has been a full-time faculty in electronics and electromechanical engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology since 2000, where he has been teaching in the areas of electronics and biomedical systems engineering, including five years of design courses. He has conducted research, with peer-reviewed publications, in biomedical engineering in the areas of biomechanics, bioelectricity, and biomedical imaging, since 1992. Other research interests include renewable energy, optical fiber communications, and project-based multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary education.

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Implementation of an Integrated Project-Based Approach Within an Established and EAC-of -ABET Accredited Interdisciplinary Electromechanical/Biomedical Engineering Program AbstractA faculty-driven high-quality EAC-of-ABET accredited five-year interdisciplinaryelectromechanical engineering program was developed and implemented since 1992 atWentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. The five-year program curriculum requires lab-based electrical and mechanical engineering courses, in addition to a one-semester freshmendesign course, a one-semester junior design project, a sequence of two semesters of a fifth yearcapstone design project, and a minimum of two semesters of coop training. Recently, theprogram has been further integrated with the addition of a biomedical systems engineeringconcentration. Though the interdisciplinary electromechanical/biomedical engineering programat Wentworth is substantially project-based, further integration of the remaining traditionallecture-based courses was both possible and needed, in the author’s opinion, in order to improvestudent motivation, retention, and performance. In the present article, the author reports on anovel approach to the teaching of traditional courses in the freshman and sophomore years,whereby student-centered design and research projects are introduced in preparation of the juniordesign project. This was done in two traditionally non-project-based courses, network theory anddigital systems. The author has taught these courses many times before and twice for eachcourse, after he introduced the project-based method. For all courses taught with the projectbased-method, the results have been consistently highly positive. Assessment was made fromcarefully designed end –of-semester questionnaires, evaluation of student performance in thosecourses and subsequent design courses, the instructor’s own observations, and comparison tostudent response and performance before the method was introduced in spring 2006. The resultsfrom four years of using this project-based method are analyzed, and the possibility ofgeneralizing this approach to other courses as well as the lessons learned are discussed. It wasfound that this approach significantly increases student motivation and performance in thosecourses and in junior design.

Badjou, S. (2011, June), Implementation of an Integrated Project-Based Approach Within an Established and EAC-of -ABET Accredited Interdisciplinary Electromechanical/Biomedical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18091

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