Asee peer logo

Implementing A Formal Collaborative Mechanical Engineering Technology Internship Program With Campus Research Activities

Download Paper |

Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Industry Collaborations in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

15.676.1 - 15.676.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16591

Download Count

94

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Kevin Cook Montana State University

visit author page

Kevin Cook is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at Montana State University. He is also the Program Coordinator of the MET Program. Mr. Cook holds a B.S. degree in MET and a M.S. degree in Industrial and Management Engineering, both from Montana State University. Mr. Cook has significant industrial experience and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Montana. His research interests relate to education methods research, as well as curriculum design and integration.

visit author page

biography

Salman Adam Montana State University

visit author page

Salman Adam is a senior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at Montana State University. He recently completed an internship and continues to work for the Center for Biofilm Engineering as a research assistant.

visit author page

biography

Darla Goeres Montana State University

visit author page

Dr. Goeres is an Assistant Research Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Montana State University. She has extensive experience researching biofilm bacteria in industrial systems. Currently, Dr. Goeres leads the Standardized Biofilm Methods Laboratory at the Center for Biofilm Engineering. The mission of this laboratory is the development and validation of quantitative standard methods for growing, treating, sampling and analyzing biofilm bacteria. Her goal is to promote collaboration among the various entities interested in biofilm methods.

visit author page

biography

Steven Anderson Montana State University

visit author page

Steven Anderson is a senior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at Montana State University. He recently completed an internship and continues to work for the Center for Biofilm Engineering as a research assistant.

visit author page

biography

Diane Walker Montana State University

visit author page

Diane Walker is a Research Engineer with the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) at Montana State University. One of her responsibilities is to mentor student interns within the Standardized Biofilm Methods Laboratory (SBML) at the CBE. Ms. Walker holds B.S. degrees in both Biology and Bio-Resources Engineering and an M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering, all from Montana State University. In addition, Diane oversees and conducts testing projects for industry and provides quality assurance for a federally-funded contract held by the SBML.

visit author page

biography

Alfred Cunningham Montana State University

visit author page

Dr. Cunningham is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Montana State University. He is a founding member of the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) and coordinates CBE’s industrial research and education programs as part of the Center’s 23 member Industrial Associates Program. Integration of graduate and undergraduate students into industrially sponsored projects is a critical activity.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Implementing a Formal Collaborative Mechanical Engineering Technology Internship Program with Campus Research Activities

Abstract

Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) students have enhanced their educational experiences through industrial-based internships and undergraduate research activities within the university for many years. These experiences are especially important for MET students, as they generally respond better to the applications oriented learning pedagogy inherent in internship and research activities. While these activities vary in complexity and span the entire range of the mechanical engineering spectrum, they are almost always considered a “good learning experience”. They learn by doing, thus it is important for them to be submersed in an environment where they can effectively learn the vocabulary and become intimately familiar with the needs and restraints for that environment. What is not well understood is how much these learning experiences contribute to skills development of the individuals involved. In addition, it is challenging to assess how effectively these students are supporting the goals of the researchers or technical faculty involved with the internship. This paper provides a description of a unique educational opportunity provided to Montana State University (MSU) MET students in collaboration with the Center for Biofilm Engineering, an NSF Engineering Research Center at MSU. This highly interdisciplinary collaboration provided an opportunity to improve, evaluate and assess the effectiveness of MET undergraduate internships and research support activities. Specifically, the focus was to share the skills and abilities of each discipline (Mechanical Engineering, Microbiology, Biofilm Engineering) and bridge the gap between research personnel in the design, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, and marketing of novel laboratory biofilm-related research equipment. The paper will present the project development history, goals of the project, and improvement activities implemented as a result of the project. In addition, details of the assessment plan, including MET program assessment goals, as well as the research and technical faculty assessment goals will be presented. Finally, the format for this type of internship or undergraduate research activity will be formalized and plans for expanding this activity campus wide will be presented.

Introduction

Traditional internship programs have long been an integral part of college engineering and engineering technology programs. These “traditional” internships involve students working directly with industry engineers, performing actual day-to-day “engineering” tasks in an industrial setting. These experiences provide students an opportunity to learn and develop skills in a setting that generally cannot be duplicated in the academic environment. In addition, graduates who complete an internship prior to graduation generally have a much more successful job hunting experience than those who do not complete an internship. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 23 percent of graduates with internships had accepted jobs, where only 14 percent of graduates without internships had found jobs as of April 20091. Employers are confident that graduates have better communication skills and problem

Cook, K., & Adam, S., & Goeres, D., & Anderson, S., & Walker, D., & Cunningham, A. (2010, June), Implementing A Formal Collaborative Mechanical Engineering Technology Internship Program With Campus Research Activities Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16591

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015