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Integrating Engineering Disciplines Into A Common First Year Engineering Program

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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

Introduction to Engineering: The Present State

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.730.1 - 8.730.19



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Paper Authors

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Katie Torrey

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James Hertel

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Douglas Oppliger

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Gretchen Hein

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Glen Archer

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Jason Keith

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

Session 1653

Integrating Engineering Disciplines into a Common First Year Engineering Program

Gretchen Hein1, Katie Torrey1, James Hertel1, Douglas Oppliger1, Jason M. Keith2, Glen Archer3 Department of Engineering Fundamentals1/Department of Chemical Engineering2/ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering3 Michigan Technological University

Abstract In the fall of 2000, Michigan Technological University started a common first year program for all engineering students. One of the goals of this program was to introduce first year students to the engineering majors available on campus. The Engineering Fundamentals faculty found it fairly simple to incorporate Mechanical and Civil Engineering problems into this program, but the other disciplines presented challenges in finding applications that matched the knowledge level of first year engineering students.

For the 2002-03 school year, the faculty worked on bringing Chemical, Biomedical, and Electrical Engineering assignments into the classroom that can be solved using tools taught in the first year program. The faculty relied greatly on the input and knowledge of the respective departmental faculty to develop illustrative problems. In Fundamentals of Engineering I (ENG1101), a Chemi- cal Engineering problem introduced students to the concept of mass balances. This problem was used to illustrate how to properly set-up and document engineering problems, design and use spreadsheets, and observe the effect of changing process variables on an overall design. The students also learned technical writing skills by summarizing the project in a short report. Additionally, ENG1101 students were given a problem where they had to use unit conversions to solve a Biomedical Engineering problem. In Fundamentals of Engineering II (ENG1102), an Electrical Engineering project introduced the students to control logic design. Starting with a conceptual 3- D model of the mechanical design, the project required the team to develop a system configuration diagram, energy budget, functional specifications, and control logic program. The project stressed the design process within a multidisciplinary team. These activities and their development are outlined in this paper.

Introduction Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) initiated a first year engineering program in the Fall of 2000, which is administered through the Engineering Fundamentals (EF) Department. As part of this program, all first year engineering students take Fundamentals of Engineering I (ENG1101) and Fundamentals of Engineering II (ENG1102). One goal of these courses is to Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Torrey, K., & Hertel, J., & Oppliger, D., & Hein, G., & Archer, G., & Keith, J. (2003, June), Integrating Engineering Disciplines Into A Common First Year Engineering Program Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12341

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