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Integrating Engineering and Arts through Capstone Design: Creative Campus Meets the Learning Factory

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Integrating Art, Humanities, and Engineering

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

23.771.1 - 23.771.18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19785

Download Count

45

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Paper Authors

biography

Timothy W. Simpson Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Timothy W. Simpson is a Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Penn State with affiliate appointments in Engineering Design and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. As the Director of the Learning Factory, he coordinated 150 industry-sponsored senior design projects each year for over 700 students in the College of Engineering. He also serves as the Director of the Product Realization Minor. His research interests include product family and product platform design, trade space exploration and multi-dimensional data visualization, and multidisciplinary design optimization, and he has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers to date. He is the recipient of the 2011 ASEE Fred Merryfield Design Award and has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching and research, including the 2007 Penn State University President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration. He is a Fellow in ASME and an Associate Fellow in AIAA. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

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Marcus Shaffer Penn State Architecture

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Marcus Shaffer's research focuses on works, theories, and practices that engage the Machine as an architectural extension of our impulse to examine and re-make the natural world. This work includes building machines, automatons, and spiritual mechanisms that represent our earliest technological expression; the mechano-pagan influence of the Machine on modern/visionary architecture; and attempts to embody architectural knolwedge and craft in construction/fabrication technologies. As a designer and studio critic experienced with industrial and handcrafted means of making, he addresses architecture not only as the manifestation of our physical needs and cultural desires, but also as constructed form directly resultant from the combination of mind, machinery, materials, and process/labor. While Marcus studies and contributes to a critical discourse probing and defining the Machine in an architectural context, his historical/theoretical search is informed by, and applied to the design and fabrication of various Tectonic Machines. The agenda for these machines is a synthesis of our powerfully rationalized technologies with the potency of meaning found in our ritual practices - which includes building. Prof. Shaffer has a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an M. Arch from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Elisha Clark Halpin Penn State University, School of Theatre, Dance Program

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Elisha Clark Halpin is an Associate Professor and Head of Dance at Penn State. She is the artistic director of ETCH Dance Co. Her choreographic investigations concentrate on the body as text: using autobiography, ethnicity, and identity as ways to generate movement, develop context, and construct metaphors in contemporary dance. Elisha was an Emerging Choreographer at the Bates Dance Festival. Her work, How Frail the Human Heart, was awarded “Best Dance” at the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival. Her latest work, the sky is empty, was commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam. Elisha graduated with an M.F.A in performance and choreography from The Ohio State University and a B.F.A in dance and theatre from the University of Memphis. Elisha has been on the faculty of Ohio State, Wittenberg University, Columbus Youth Ballet, Memphis Dance Group, and the professional training program at Dublin Dance Center. She has been a guest artist at Radford University, Kenyon College, Fort Hayes Arts High School, Wharton Middle School for the Arts, Columbus Movement2, SUNY Buffalo, and SUNY Brockport.
ETCH, formed in 2008, creates work that is evocative, starkly honest, and kinesthetically driving. The movement is highly athletic and intense, utilizing traditional dance technique as the foundation to push the limits of structure in time and space. Investigating autobiography, ethnicity, and identity through movement weaves vulnerability with a range of emotional experiences to build a powerful energy that propels the work. Halpin’s choreography delves into the female identity while showcasing the intricacies of the body on a visceral level. www.etchdance.org

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Amy Dupain Vashaw Center for the Performing Arts @ Penn State

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AMY DUPAIN VASHAW serves as Audience and Program Development Director for Penn State University’s Center for the Performing Arts, a position she has held since 2001. Initially hired as Education Director in 1997, her primary responsibility is the creation of programs which link the artists on the Center’s season to various facets of the community, including Penn State University students, students in grades K-12, senior members of the community, and the community-at-large. Her primary goal is to create a mutually enriching experience for both artists and their audiences by providing the knowledge and tools necessary to fully engage in the artist’s work. Additionally, she works closely with the Center director in programming the season, with her special area of focus being family and children’s programming. She has served as president of Pennsylvania Presenters, a statewide presenting consortium. She is also the advisor to Orchesis Dance Company, a student dance company which produces two concerts a year, comprised solely of member-choreographed works. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in cinema studies.

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Dorothy H. Evensen Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Dorothy H. Evensen is a Professor of Education at Penn State University where she teaches courses on qualitative research, college curriculum and teaching, and legal issues in higher education. She earned a doctorate in educational psychology from New York University in 1991 and her dissertation examined reading strategies used by first-year law students. Since then, Professor Evensen has investigated various areas within legal education including study groups, students’ case reading skills, academic support programs, and, most recently, issues of access among African Americans. Besides law, she has conducted research in other professional areas such as medicine, engineering, and teacher education. Her research work has received funding from the Law School Admissions Council, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.

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Abstract

Integrating Engineering and Arts via Capstone Design Projects: Lessons Learned in the Learning Factory Timothy W. Simpson,1 Marcus Shaffer,2 and Elisha Clark Halpin3 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 USAThe Learning Factory at Penn State coordinates the largest college-wide engineering capstonedesign program in the country. Each year, over 750 engineering students across 12 majors workin teams of 4-6 for a semester on industry- and client-sponsored senior capstone design projects.About 30% of these projects engage students in a single engineering discipline (e.g., mechanicalengineering), 40% engage students in two disciplines (e.g., chemical engineering and mechanicalengineering), and 30% engage students in three or more disciplines (e.g., bioengineering,electrical engineering, and industrial engineering). As we have improved our ability to workacross disciplines within engineering, we have also enhanced our ability to work with studentsand faculty outside of engineering. Based on the needs of a specific project, the engineeringstudent team may be paired with students in one or more of the following colleges: Arts &Architecture, Business, Communications, Earth & Mineral Sciences, Health & HumanDevelopment, and Information Sciences & Technology. The result is an interdisciplinaryexperience that is much more representative of what students will find in the real world. In thispaper we focus on the challenges and opportunities of using capstone design projects to integratestudent teams in engineering and arts, specifically, architecture and dance. In particular, we willdiscuss results from an ethnographic study of three senior capstone design projects that weresponsored by faculty in architecture and dance as part of a two-year Creative Campus grantfunded by the Doris Duke Foundation. An overview of the larger interdisciplinary project, TheSecret Life of Public Spaces, will be discussed along with the goals of the three senior capstonedesign projects described in this paper. The pedagogical and cultural differences among thedifferent disciplines are compared and contrasted to shed light on the interdisciplinary interplaythat resulted, both productive and counter-productive. We will also discuss how student—andfaculty—perceptions of, and appreciation for, the other disciplines changed over the course ofeach project from the initial Project Kickoff meeting to the final Design Showcase. Finally, wewill show that while many students initially struggled crossing the “cultural divide” among thedisparate disciplines, two of the three projects were recognized with Best Project awards at theend of the semester showcase—as judged by experts from industry.1 Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Member ASEE, tws8@psu.edu2 Assistant Professor of Architecture, marcus@psu.edu3 Associate Professor and Head of Dance, etc3@psu.edu

Simpson, T. W., & Shaffer, M., & Clark Halpin, E., & Vashaw, A. D., & Evensen, D. H. (2013, June), Integrating Engineering and Arts through Capstone Design: Creative Campus Meets the Learning Factory Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19785

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015