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Including Multi-Disciplinary Project Awareness in First Year Introduction to Engineering Courses

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Conference

2021 First-Year Engineering Experience

Location

Virtual

Publication Date

August 9, 2021

Start Date

August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

Page Count

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38391

Download Count

15

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Paper Authors

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Roger J Marino P.E. Drexel University

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Roger Marino is an Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Dr. Marino has 30+ years of private consulting experience, and is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of New Jersey. He teaches across all disciplines, and his primary focus in recent years has been in the area of Freshman and Sophomore curriculums.

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Michael Cross Norwich University

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Michael Cross is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering teaching classes in the areas of circuits, electronics, energy systems, and engineering design. Cross received degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Vermont and began his academic career at UVM where he taught courses in the areas of analog and digital circuits, electronics, semiconductor physics, power electronics, and engineering design.

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David M. Feinauer P.E. Virginia Military Institute

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Dr. Feinauer is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Military Institute. His scholarly work spans a number of areas related to engineering education, including P-12 engineering outreach, the first-year engineering experience, and incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship practice in the engineering classroom. Additionally, he has research experience in the areas of automation and control theory, system identification, and energy resilience fundamentals. His work has been published through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE); he is an active member of both organizations. He holds a PhD and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.

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James R McCusker PhD Wentworth Institute of Technology

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James R. McCusker is an Associate Professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Since joining Wentworth in 2010, he has been heavily involved with an array of interdisciplinary design courses that range from introductory to capstone courses.

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Johanna P Casale Drexel University

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Johanna P. (Doukakis) Casale is an Interdisciplinary Studies Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University as well as an Assistant Teaching Professor at Drexel University. She received her BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Structural Engineering from Rutgers University. Her research interests focus on Mechanics of Solids pedagogy and First-Year course design.

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Abstract

Much discussion has been held in recent years concerning the advantage of having engineering students work on multidisciplinary design teams. The Multidisciplinary Division of ASEE has addressed this issue at its annual convention for over a decade. Benefits of multidisciplinary team work have been identified to include: the development of technical skills in each student’s particular discipline, the development of professional skills (communication, presentation, conflict resolution, group dynamics) and exposure to (and further technical understanding and recognition of) disciplines other than each student’s own. Many universities define the term “multidisciplinary” as relating to groups comprised of diverse engineering disciplines only, whereas, other universities include in the definition disciplines outside of engineering – and even outside of the college (such as sciences, humanities, business). Many universities relegate multidisciplinary team experiences to senior/ capstone projects only and some include sophomore to senior courses. Other universities run programs that include multidisciplinary design group experiences for freshmen through seniors such as: the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program, Vertical Integrated Programs (VIP) and other Service-Based Learning initiatives such as Engineers Without Borders, UN Development Programme Sustainable Development Goals and National Academy of Engineers Grand Challenges. Subsequent to their selection of a particular major, First Year engineering students often identify themselves as their selected major (“I’m an electrical engineer”) with the preconception that there will be no interaction with other engineering disciplines (or other professional entities) when they practice engineering in their educational and professional careers. In an effort to broaden the students’ perception and understanding of the existence of multidisciplinary interaction on design projects, engineering programs at four Northeastern U.S. Universities included course materials in their Introduction to Engineering classes to address this topic in the first year. The courses included lecture and experiential components. Student surveys were subsequently administered at each of the universities in order to assess the effectiveness of the teaching methods. Participants were asked to indicate their level of awareness and understanding of the prevalence of multidisciplinary projects before and after taking the course. The results of the surveys will be presented in a forthcoming paper. However, this paper presents the teaching methods and materials employed, as well as recommendations of which material or activities should be included in the course to promote multidisciplinary project awareness in the future.

Marino, R. J., & Cross, M., & Feinauer, D. M., & McCusker, J. R., & Casale, J. P. (2021, August), Including Multi-Disciplinary Project Awareness in First Year Introduction to Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/38391

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