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Integrating The Teaching Of Computer Skills With An Introduction To Mechanical Engineering Course

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Improving ME Education: Trends in Mechanical Engineering II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

12.931.1 - 12.931.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2658

Download Count

42

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Paper Authors

biography

Timothy Hinds Michigan State University

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TIMOTHY J. HINDS is an Academic Specialist in the Michigan State University Department of Mechanical Engineering. He teaches undergraduate courses in machine design, manufacturing processes, mechanics and computational tools. He also teaches a senior-level undergraduate international design project course and has taught graduate-level courses in engineering innovation and technology management. He received his BSME and MSME degrees from Michigan Technological University.

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biography

Craig Somerton Michigan State University

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CRAIG W. SOMERTON is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the undergraduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. He teaches in the area of thermal engineering including thermodynamics, heat transfer, and thermal design. Dr. Somerton has research interests in computer design of thermal systems, transport phenomena in porous media, and application of continuous quality improvement principles to engineering education. He received his B.S. in 1976, his M.S. in 1979, and his Ph.D. in 1982, all in engineering from UCLA.

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

Integrating the Teaching of Computer Skills With an Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Course Introduction

Most all engineering programs, mechanical engineering included, have a required computer analysis course that focuses on the development of student programming skills1,2. Many mechanical engineering programs also have a course that provides an introduction to the mechanical engineering profession3. Both of these courses are typically offered at the freshman level. At Michigan State University (MSU), a retooling of our freshman program has lead to the development of a single course addressing both of these needs. The new course approaches the teaching of these two topics with a problem solving orientation. This paper presents the lessons learned from two pilot runs of this new course entitled: Creative Engineering Solutions. The course is very project oriented with assignments dealing with the disciplines of mechanical engineering, including forces in structures, materials, fluid mechanics, thermal systems, motion and power, manufacturing processes, and mechatronics. Details of the various projects and other student assignments are provided. Course learning objectives that have been developed and set are also shared. Student feedback is presented and the evolution of the course is discussed.

Course Learning Objectives

A number of course learning objectives were developed by a pilot course task force following a survey of programs at other institutions4,5 and using feedback provided by MSU Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty. Details of the development of the MSU Mechanical Engineering (ME) Freshman Program may be found in previous work by the authors6. Learning objectives for the introduction to mechanical engineering with computer skills course were formalized as:

1. Introduce students to the mechanical engineering discipline and profession.

2. Demonstrate how basic mathematics and science fits into engineering practice.

3. Introduce students to the engineering design problem solving method in a rigorous fashion.

4. Teach students to use computer applications such as MATLAB®, Excel® and Basic.

5. Help students develop their communication, study, organizational, and teaming skills.

6. Prepare students for and begin their integration into the culture of the mechanical engineering program.

Course Structure

The three-credit course was taught in a lecture and laboratory format. A syllabus for the course may be found in Appendix 1. Lectures were held twice per week for 50 minutes each. The laboratory sessions also met twice per week for 80 minutes each. To provide students with continuity and a logical connection between the lecture topics and the practice of solution

Hinds, T., & Somerton, C. (2007, June), Integrating The Teaching Of Computer Skills With An Introduction To Mechanical Engineering Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2658

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: © 2007 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