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Implementing A Multidisciplinary System Design And Engineering Course Using Solar Splash "97

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.223.1 - 2.223.4



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Paper Authors

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Ward J. Collis

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Shih-Liang Wang

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Esther A. Hughes

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John Chen

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

Session 1225

Implementing a Multidisciplinary System Design and Engineering Course Using Solar Splash ‘97

John C. Chen†, Esther A. Hughes*, Shih-Liang Wang†, and Ward J. Collis*

†Department of Mechanical Engineering *Department of Electrical Engineering North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, NC 27411

Abstract In this paper we describe our experience with implementing a multidisciplinary systems design and engineering course by participation in a national student design competition, while simultaneously satisfying the capstone- design requirement within the engineering curriculum. A team of faculty from the departments of mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering acted as consultants to a team of twelve electrical and mechanical engineering senior students whose joint task is to design, construct and test a solar-powered boat. The boat will be entered into the 1997 Solar Splash regatta, to be held in June 1997 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Introduction In the increasingly competitive global market, government and industry have realized the importance of cohesive, multidisciplinary engineering teams for product design and realization, and for problem solving. The benefits realized result from the wealth of experiences and skills brought to the team by the diversity of its members. In the typical engineering curriculum, however, there is currently a dearth of courses and activities which call on students from various engineering disciplines to collaborate in any way or form.

In recent years, mainly driven by accreditation requirements and industry demands, engineering departments have devoted substantial effort and resources to introduce engineering design into their respective curricula. This trend can be interpreted as a major paradigm shift in undergraduate engineering education from the previous method which relied heavily on repetitive solution of ‘closed-ended’ problems usually performed individually, without collaboration with one’s peers. The wide adoption of ‘capstone design’ courses across the U.S. is borne out by the great amount of literature documenting such experiences, as reviewed by Todd et al.1 and by Dutson et al.2.

Within this body of literature, however, there exists very few documented cases of capstone design courses being implemented across two or more engineering

Collis, W. J., & Wang, S., & Hughes, E. A., & Chen, J. (1997, June), Implementing A Multidisciplinary System Design And Engineering Course Using Solar Splash "97 Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6603

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