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Integrating Engineering for Developing Communities into Engineering Education A Case Study

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Problem- and project-based learning in environmental engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.772.1 - 23.772.13



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Paper Authors


Lupita D Montoya University of Colorado, Boulder

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Lupita D. Montoya is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder with courtesy appointment in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She received a B.S. degree in Engineering (Mechanics) from California State University at Northridge. She holds a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. She conducted postdoctoral research in Environmental Health at the State University of New York and Harvard School of Public Health. At the University of Colorado, she leverages her multidisciplinary background and her social consciousness in her research and her teaching.

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Robyn Sandekian University of Colorado Boulder

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Robyn Sandekian is the Managing Director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities (MCEDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder). She earned BS and MS degrees in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at CU-Boulder in 1992 and 1994, respectively, then remained on campus to work for the Women in Engineering Program (WIEP). Ms. Sandekian joined the Engineering for Developing Communities Program (now known as the Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities) in spring 2004, just as the first EDC graduate track was approved.

With MCEDC, her main duties have included student advising and academic program development. In addition to her management role in the Mortenson Center, Ms. Sandekian has taught an Engineering Projects course around the theme of appropriate technology and conducted research on social entrepreneurship and sustainable community development in Nepal in 2008. Ms. Sandekian earned a Specialist in Education (Ed. S.) degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado in May 2011 and began doctoral work in the Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership program there in fall 2011.

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Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel W. Knight is the engineering assessment specialist at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program and Laboratory. He holds a BS in psychology from Louisiana State University, and an MS degree in industrial/organizational psychology and PhD degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the University of Colorado at Boulder, he gained extensive experience in assessment and teamwork in an engineering education
context through the development and evaluation of a team facilitation training course for engineering undergraduate students. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of retention, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include the assessment and evaluation of the ITL Program’s hands-on undergraduate courses and K-12 engineering outreach initiatives.

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Integrating Engineering for Developing Communities into Engineering Education: A Case Study The objective of this work was to conduct an initial assessment of theeffectiveness of a new pedagogical approach in Engineering Education. Thisapproach had four underlying goals: 1) to incorporate sustainable design conceptsinto a required Engineering Design course; 2) to motivate students from differentmajors to collaborate across disciplinary and geographical borders; 3) to usecoursework to enable and promote student extracurricular engineering designactivities; and 4) to gauge the interest of students in an undergraduate track inEngineering for Developing Communities (EDC). Sustainable design concepts were incorporated into an introductory coursein Engineering Design. This required freshman-level course (FreshmanEngineering Projects) incorporated appropriate design concepts and collaborationwith a team of faculty and students at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica delPeru. The course followed a standard format, which included one small and onelarge group project. Design teams were composed of 4 to 6 students whoconsulted with collaborators in Peru and shared their project’s progress with them.Extra-curricular activities enhanced the student experience. The effectiveness ofthe course was evaluated via surveys to gauge interest and understanding ofsustainability concepts, tools for international collaboration, and general attitudetoward engineering for developing communities. Results showed significantlypositive attitudes toward the course and its goals.PAGE:1. Do you feel you understand what engineering for developing communities (EDC) is about? Response Response Percent CountYes 76.2% 16No 23.8% 5 Please describe your understanding of EDC. 17 Show replies answered question 21 skipped question 02. Would you recommend a similar GEEN 1400 section to your freshman engineering friends? Response Response Percent CountYes 90.5% 19No 9.5% 2 Why or why not? 19 Show replies answered question 21 skipped question 03. Was this course topic more interesting to you than other GEEN 1400 section topics? answered question 21 skipped question 0

Montoya, L. D., & Sandekian, R., & Knight, D. (2013, June), Integrating Engineering for Developing Communities into Engineering Education A Case Study Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19786

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