San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.797.1 - 25.797.11
Integrating Engineering Systems Research and Undergraduate Education Through A Term-Length Case StudyThe University-Country Program (UCP)* was launched in 2007 with the dual objectives ofsupporting and generating innovative research and academic programs through internationalcollaboration. Among the first successful attempts to integrate the research and teachingobjectives of the UCP was the Spring 2009 offering Engineering System Design, a requireddesign course in the University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for juniorsand seniors. The course employed a semester-long case study, drawing heavily on active UCPtransportation and engineering systems research as the guiding framework.On the research side, University has been engaged with partner universities and agencies inCountry on several topics relating to rail transportation, specifically the concept of high-speedrail (HSR). Collaborative research topics have included life-cycle costing for rail systems,construction safety, tunneling techniques, rail financing, demand and revenue forecasting,passenger-freight integration, multi-modal competition and cooperation, strategic systemdecision-making, and economic and land development impacts at the urban and megaregionscales. These varied research efforts demand a unifying engineering systems framework to tietogether the pieces and ensure that the research delivered provides maximal value bothindividually and as part of a broader program. The integrating engineering systems frameworkchosen was the Complex, Large-Scale, Interconnected, Open, Socio-technical (CLIOS) Process.The Spring 2009 offering represented the first opportunity to teach and conduct the CLIOSProcess in an undergraduate classroom setting and did so using an active research program as thecase study for application of the CLIOS Process. After presenting the UCP and HSR researchcontexts, this paper summarizes the methodology used to implement the CLIOS Process in aclassroom setting through an evolving, term-length group project that involved teaching andsupervision by active researchers. Next, the paper discusses the challenges of teachingengineering systems concepts to undergraduates, incorporating active research into a classroomsetting, and managing a complex multi-faceted term project. Finally, the paper summarizes thesuccesses and lessons learned of the experience as well as prospects for future applications ofengineering systems research in the classroom.* “University” and “Country” are terms substituted for the actual names of the university andcountry participating in this program, so as to disguise affiliations for purposes of the double-blind review process.
Dunn, T. P., & Sussman, J. M., & Stein, N. E. G., & Uniman, D. L. (2012, June), Integrating Engineering Systems Research and Undergraduate Education through a Term-length Case Study Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21554
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