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Integrated Engineering Education Through Multi Disciplinary Nationally Relevant Projects: The Solar Decathlon

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Course and Curriculum Innovations in ECE

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.719.1 - 8.719.12



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Paper Authors

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Arunsi Chuku

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

Session 2632

Integrated Engineering Education Through Multi-Disciplinary Nationally Relevant Projects: The Solar Decathlon Project.

A.U. Chuku, B. Oni, D. Amstrong, M. Safavi, L. L. Burge Jr. College of Engineering’ Architecture & Physical Sciences Tuskegee University Tuskegee, Alabama 36088


In the education and training of students in the technical disciplines, our goal is to not only equip the students with knowledge and skills necessary to effectively practice their profession but to successfully function in a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural and interdisciplinary environment. This is the real society in which they will live and practice the profession. As most real life projects will be complex, involving experts and artisans from other fields, it is crucial the students gain exposure to emerging applications to the various disciplines in engineering, architectural design, construction and the environment. In choosing a project, it is necessary and advantageous to consider projects that fit in with National priorities and are, also, within current cutting-edge technologies. These factors are important to students in terms of employability and tend to enhance students enthusiasm and persistence during project execution. The College of Engineering, Architecture & Physical Sciences at Tuskegee University has successfully participated in National Competition, “Solar Decathlon” at the National Mall in Washington D.C. The overall challenge of this competition was to design, build and operate a 500-squre foot solar powered house. The energy source for this house was completely provided by renewable energy incident upon the specified space that the house occupies. No other pre- stored form of energy or fuel was allowed. The Tuskegee University team consisted of students from Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Architecture and Construction Science and Management Departments, and five academic advisers encompassing the different departments. This paper presents the strategies employed by the Solar Decathlon Team to successfully complete the project and the business management strategies that contributed to its success. It discusses the lessons learned by students working on the project and from interaction with students from other universities during the competition. Lessons from the post competition analysis, including strategies for future competitions are discussed. Finally, the overall impact resulting from the project on the training of engineering students, curriculum development and update strategies are discussed.

Keywords: Integrated Engineering Education, Multi-Disciplinary, Nationally

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Chuku, A. (2003, June), Integrated Engineering Education Through Multi Disciplinary Nationally Relevant Projects: The Solar Decathlon Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12373

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