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Integrating Emerging Technologies with Engineering Design Courses

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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

Design Communications & Cognition II

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.904.1 - 22.904.15



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Paper Authors


Caleb DeValve Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Caleb DeValve is a Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is the recipient of a GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. His research interests focus on composite materials; specifically nanocomposites and flow processes during composite fabrication relevant to technologies such as helicopter rotor and wind turbine blade fabrication and material enhancement.

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Richard M. Goff Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Richard M. Goff is an Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head of the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is the Director of the Multi-University NSF I/UCRC Center for e-Design, the Director of the Frith Freshman Design Laboratory and the Co-Director of the Engineering First-year Program. His research areas are design and design education. Dr. Goff has won numerous University teaching awards for his innovative and interactive teaching. He is passionately committed to bringing research and industry projects into the class room as well as spreading fun and creating engagement in all levels of Engineering Education.

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Integrating Emerging Technologies with Engineering Design CoursesAn engineering design course is proposed which combines the teaching of design theory withemerging technologies across engineering disciplines and application to a design project. Theterm "emerging technologies" is presented to imply a broad application of the ideas presented inthis paper, giving flexibility to the design course implementation. Based on a typical AmericanUniversity semester format, instruction is divided into two equal segments; the first half focuseson details regarding the emerging technology and design theory, while the second half utilizesteams of 3-5 students working as a unit to apply the skills gained from the first half of thesemester and propose solutions to a design problem. A discussion-based classroom setting isused to create a "constructivist" environment, through which student-centered learning isfostered. It is proposed that the outlined design course has the potential to increase student'sengagement in the design process because of the wide scope and opportunities for progressionthat emerging technologies inherently possess. Additionally, this design course presents anopportunity for students to explore the possibilities of design problems through the application oftechnologies which are not well developed, naturally propelling the growth of knowledge in aparticular emerging field.The design course outlined here is aimed at junior-level engineering students and isinterdisciplinary in nature. An aspect of consideration is the apparent value of an engineeringdesign class offered prior to the capstone design project currently found in most engineeringcurriculums in the U.S. and typically encountered during the senior year of study. It is arguedthat the course presented in this paper would help to fill this gap prevalent in many engineeringcurriculums between the freshman and senior years of instruction and better prepare students forrigorous engineering design encountered in industry and other post-graduation settings. In orderto best exemplify particular aspects of the design course, the present work will focus on aspecific emerging engineering technology, namely performance composite materials. It is notedthat as progression in various fields and technologies is made, the scope of the design class isstructured to be adapted accordingly.

DeValve, C., & Goff, R. M. (2011, June), Integrating Emerging Technologies with Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18223

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