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Integrating Professional Practice into the Engineering Curriculum: A Proposed Model and Prototype Case with an Industry Partner

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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

Curricular Innovations in College-Industry Partnerships

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.913.1 - 22.913.15



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Paper Authors


Richard T. Schoephoerster University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Schoephoerster is the Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas, El Paso, where he leads a College of over 3,000 students (including approximately 500 graduate students) in 17 different B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs, and 80 faculty members in six different departments with approximately $25 million in research funding from local, state, and national agencies and companies. Dr. Schoephoerster received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 1985, and his M.S. (1986) and Ph.D. (1989) in Mechanical Engineering, all from the University of Iowa. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

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Ryan Wicker University of Texas, El Paso

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Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director and Founder of the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas at El Paso where he also holds the endowed Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh Murchison Chair I in Engineering. Dr. Wicker received degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honors, 1987) and Stanford University (M.S. and Ph.D. in M.E., 1991 and 1994, respectively). Dr. Wicker worked in industry as an Engineering Thermodynamic Analyst with General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (1987 - 1989), and has spent his entire academic career at The University of Texas, El Paso (Assistant Professor, 1994 - 2000; Associate Professor, 2000 - 2005; Professor, 2005 - present).

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Ricardo Pineda University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Ricardo L. Pineda holds Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees from Lehigh University and a B.Sc. degree from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has over 25 years of experience in Systems Engineering in different industries ranging from Research and Development at Bell Labs to Chief Technology Officer at AT&T in Mexico. He was a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff (DMTS) at Bell labs where as a Systems Engineer he worked on requirements and the architecture of new services and technologies used in the AT&T Network. He was the Chief Technology Officer for the definition, development, implementation and deployment of the AT&T Services and Network in Mexico. He was also Siemens Business Services (SBS) Practice Director for Latin America where he was the main consultant in systems implementations in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. Dr. Pineda has extensive experience in Academia; he was a Professor at ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico and at the “Universidad de Los Andes” in Colombia and currently at the University of Texas at El Paso. His current Research projects include: PI for “Energy Security Microgrid Large Scale Energy Storage (LSES)” for Raytheon-Energy Solutions, PI for “Prognosis & Resilience Design for Complex SoS” with Raytheon-IDS, PI “SOS Global Attributes to Design Space Mapping” and “Technology Refreshment Assessment Model” for LMC-Aero, and PI for the “TMAC El Paso del Norte-Region” for the MEP program sponsored by NIST.
Dr. Pineda was nominated by AT&T Bell Labs to receive the “U.S.-Hispanic Engineer of the year Award”, received the “AT&T Architecture Award” and has received the “Baldwin Fellowship” and “Gotshall Fellowship” awards.
Currently he is at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) where he is the Systems Engineering Program Director, the Director of the Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems (RIMES) and the Chair of the Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Department.
He is a member of INCOSE, IEEE, IIE, ASEE, and ISACA.

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Ahsan Choudhuri University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri is Associate Professor and Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department and Director of the UTEP NASA Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR). Dr. Choudhuri’s primary research interests are in aerospace systems and energy engineering. He received his degrees from School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (M.S., 1997, Ph.D., 2000) and Department of Mechanical Engineering at Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (B.Sc.Eng., 1993).

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  The Medical School Model for Integrating Professional Practice into the Engineering Curriculum at an Urban, Public University: A Prototype Case Study with an Industry PartnerThe 19th century Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Acts had the following goals: 1) education for the“common man”, most of whom lived in rural areas; and 2) economic development by technologygeneration for the economy of the day – agriculture. The 21st century now finds us with aninformation economy and a population heavily based in urban settings. So the urban publicinstitution is now required to accomplish the original purpose of the 19th century land-grantinstitution – 1) educating the common man and woman, most of who are living in urban citiesand are from under-represented racial and ethnic groups; and 2) collectively driving the nationaleconomy by each university having a major impact on its regional economy. Engineeringprograms at these urban, public universities are also now challenged to “teach for professionalpractice” [1] by integrating professional learning experiences into the curriculum in a formalmanner.Thus the urban, public College of Engineering presents a unique opportunity to establish theDiscovery-Innovation Institutes (DIIs) introduced by James Duderstadt in his report“Engineering for a Changing World.” [2] The DIIs are comprised of academia-industry-government partnerships, are interdisciplinary in nature but focused on a specific area of researchsuch as energy, and will drive the engineering education enterprise within the institution.Duderstadt describes the DIIs as a cross between corporate R&D laboratories (linkingfundamental discoveries to innovative products and services through applied research),agricultural experiment centers and extension services (like land-grant universities, responding tosocietal needs), and academic medical centers (uniting education, research, and practice withinone unit). Therefore, DIIs will involve very active university-industry collaboration for practice-based education of engineers (like medical schools do for physicians), and for joint research anddevelopment activities.We have initiated the first step toward development of a DII by establishing a prototype for thepractice-based education of engineers through a partnership with Lockheed Martin AeronauticsCompany. In this paper, we will fully describe what we envision as the future of engineeringeducation as a practice-based discipline and the role of industry in developing professionalpractice training for engineering students. We will then provide a case study of our prototypicalpartnership with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics that includes these three fundamental elements ofa fully-integrated practice-based curriculum: 1) realistic laboratory and design experiences, 2)internships as meaningful learning experiences, and 3) joint research and development activitiesthat range from fundamental discoveries to the development of innovative products and businessdevelopment. References[1] S.D. Sheppard, K. Mucatangay, A. Colby, W.M. Sullivan, Education Engineers:Designing for the Future of the Field, Indianapolis: Jossey-Bass, 2008.[2] J.J. Duderstadt, “Engineering for a Changing World,” Millenium Project, University ofMichigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan,, 2008, last access 10/5/10.

Schoephoerster, R. T., & Wicker, R., & Pineda, R., & Choudhuri, A. (2011, June), Integrating Professional Practice into the Engineering Curriculum: A Proposed Model and Prototype Case with an Industry Partner Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18241

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