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Industry-Based Projects and Preparing Engineers for the 21st Century Workforce

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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

Capstone Design II

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.868.1 - 22.868.11



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Paper Authors


Karen Wosczyna-Birch CT College of Technology and the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing

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Karen Wosczyna-Birch, a national award winning Professor of Chemistry, is the statewide director for Connecticut's College of Technology, which includes all 12 Connecticut community colleges, six universities and partner high schools including the technical high school system. She is also the executive director of the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, a National Science Funded Advanced Technology Center, where she provides leadership for the advancement of manufacturing and related engineering and technologies. Karen also has expertise in providing professional development that includes strategies for the engagement and persistence of under represented populations in STEM disciplines. She has received awards from several organizations including the American Association for University Women (AAUW) for her work in addressing the need to increase females in engineering and technology fields as well as for her work in educating students with the skills required for the 21st century workforce.

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Wesley Francillon, Ph.D. Connectiuct Community College

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College of Technology

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John Birch The Birch Group, LLC

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Industry-based projects and capstone experiencesThe implementation of industry based projects with Community College and University Students based on sustainable living applicationsThe Connecticut Community Colleges and its College of Technology, has developed acurriculum with problem based learning experiences with a focus on actual life support andsustainable living projects for industry. The program, Life Support and Sustainable Living(LSSL), involves collaboration between education, industry and government partners andintegrates them with professional skills development. Faculty, industry and medical personnelprovide mentoring and technical expertise so that the students can explore potential solutions tothe real life scenarios. We report promising practices and challenges from our programincluding the innovative projects, scaling the project to all twelve community colleges,implementing sustainability of project as a credit for capstone and/or senior design course. Inaddition, we will report student evaluation data from the course and instructors. The programprepares future manufacturing graduates by improving their critical thinking skills byintroducing an applied-engineering approach prior to the traditional senior year capstone project.

Wosczyna-Birch, K., & Ph.D., W. F., & Birch, J. (2011, June), Industry-Based Projects and Preparing Engineers for the 21st Century Workforce Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18155

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