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Integration Of Engineering Economics, Statistics, And Project Management: Reinforcing Key Concepts

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Advances in Engineering Economy Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.780.1 - 15.780.8



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Paper Authors


Paul Kauffmann East Carolina University

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Paul J. Kauffmann is Professor and Chair in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University. His industry career included positions as Plant Manager and Engineering Director. Dr. Kauffmann received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and MENG in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Penn State and is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia and North Carolina.

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Stephanie Sullivan East Carolina University

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Stephanie Sullivan is a visiting instructor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University. She received a MS in Chemical Engineering from NC State University. Her research interests focus on biomaterials and bioprocessing. Educational efforts include the development of a bioprocess engineering laboratory, engineering program outreach, as well as curriculum development.

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Gene Dixon East Carolina University

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Gene Dixon is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University. He received a BS in Material Engineering from Auburn University, an MBA from Nova Southeastern and a PhD in Industrial and System Engineering and Engineering Management from the University of Alabama – Huntsville. His professional experience includes positions with Chicago Bridge and Westinghouse. General research interests focus on engineering management and related processes. Specific interests include the role of leaders and followers in the leadership process.

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B.J. Kim East Carolina University

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BJ Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University. He received a PhD in Industrial, Management Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. General research interests focus on decision support systems, information systems management, and human-machine interactions. Educational research interests include computer-aided interactive program development and web-based distance learning.

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

Integration of Engineering Economics, Statistics, and Project Management: Reinforcing Key Concepts


Engineering economics, statistics, and project management are courses which have significant workplace application. Consequently, it is important that they prepare graduates with essential skills which complement the technical engineering content of engineering programs and make new engineers more effective in applying technology and solving problems. These courses are often offered independently and the concepts contained in each are not linked to clearly illustrate how these courses together represent an essential, integrated, and complementary body of knowledge. This presents a lost opportunity in reinforcing concepts in areas such as project valuation, variation in estimates, statistical risk, expected value and similar real world topics which are essential in a project engineering workplace. This paper presents a curricular plan to accomplish integration of key topics in these courses in a focused and effective manner. It begins with examining general concepts in engineering curriculum integration. Next it examines key curricular topics in engineering economics, statistics, and project management courses and maps specific areas which can be reinforced and integrated. Finally, it maps course concepts to the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and segments FE topics based on those which apply to the Industrial Engineering exam (afternoon segment) and those which are more broadly applicable to the general portion of the exam (morning segment) and other engineering disciplines. The paper contributes to the literature on curricular integration, work place skills, and pass rate for the FE exam.


The concept of an integrated engineering curriculum is based on the foundation of how engineering is defined and how engineering is practiced. Most commonly accepted definitions of engineering involve the concept of the application of mathematics and science to solve real world or applied problems. Closely aligned to this definition is the question of how engineering problems are solved, often called the engineering design process or the engineering approach. Koen1 described this engineering approach as “the strategy for causing the best change in a poorly understood situation within available resources.” Another similar definition indicates the engineering approach “links concepts and resources together to create what has never been.”2 Based on the definition of engineering and the concept of the engineering approach to problem solving, engineering educators have continually examined approaches to equip graduates with the needed skills through the program curriculum.

As a vehicle for curricular improvement, the goal of an integrated curriculum has been a frequent and consistent topic of study and analysis. Froyd and Ohland3 trace the initiation of the study of and focus on an integrated engineering curriculum to 1988. Their comprehensive paper summarized a number of key areas based on the literature at the time of publication (2005) and contains references to over 170 papers, books, and conference proceedings.

Kauffmann, P., & Sullivan, S., & Dixon, G., & Kim, B. (2010, June), Integration Of Engineering Economics, Statistics, And Project Management: Reinforcing Key Concepts Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16551

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: © 2010 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