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Industry Case Studies At Texas A&M University

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.577.1 - 6.577.10



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Paper Authors

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Jan Rinehart

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Jim Morgan

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Session 3553

Industry Case Studies at Texas A&M University

Jim Morgan, Jan Rinehart, Jeffrey Froyd Texas A&M University


In the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, the college and industry have partnered to present classroom case studies, model the engineering profession, support curricular efforts, and offer student workshops. Many faculty members bring industry into the classroom in senior or capstone design classes, but NOT in meaningful ways at the freshman level. An important difference in the TAMU partnership with industry is that efforts are focussed on first-year students. Both partners are working to prepare the very best engineers possible, and there is a growing group of industry teams who come to campus several times each semester to offer different services for different levels of students. This paper will concentrate on the case studies that industry partners prepare and present.

Case studies are an effort to demonstrate "real world" engineering to currently enrolled engineering students. Companies usually send a team of 2-8 engineers who spend their day with students in an engineering course, typically a first semester, freshman engineering course. This team typically presents a 15-20 minute overview of a problem encountered in their company or industry. Students break into assigned teams, generate possible solutions to the problem, and then student teams present their solutions to the class. In the discussion that follows, the industry team presents the solution selected at their company and reviews the major contributing factors to the decision. In addition, the students are able to enter into a question and answer period with engineers from industry about their work environment, greatest challenges, rewards, etc. Companies that have presented case studies include Accenture, Applied Materials, Compaq Computer, Exxon Mobil, FMC, Lockheed-Martin, Motorola, Texaco, and TXU. As an example of the scope of the project eight companies presented case studies to almost 2,000 students during the 1999-2000 school year. The paper will describe the process for organizing case studies, examples of actual case studies, benefits for the students, benefits for the companies, and obstacles that are being overcome.

Why did this get started?

Most students enter with little or no understanding of the opportunities that are opened by completing a B.S. in engineering. In particular, most students have at most a vague idea of the practice of engineering. With little knowledge about what engineers do or how an undergraduate Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Rinehart, J., & Morgan, J., & Froyd, J. (2001, June), Industry Case Studies At Texas A&M University Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9376

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