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Interdisciplinary Graduate Experience: Lessons Learned

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Conference

2002 Annual Conference

Location

Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Intra-college Graduate Programs

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

7.726.1 - 7.726.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/10086

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

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Steve Watkins

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Richard Hall

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Martha J. Molander

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Josh Corra

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Bethany Konz

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K. Chandrashekhara

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Vicki Eller

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Abdeldjelil Belarbi

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

Main Menu Session 1073

Interdisciplinary Graduate Experience: Lessons Learned

Steve E. Watkins, Vicki M. Eller, Josh Corra, Martha J. Molander, Bethany Konz, Richard H. Hall, K. Chandrashekhara, Abdeldjelil Belarbi University of Missouri-Rolla

Abstract

Engineers interact in the workplace with technical peers in other disciplines at all stages of design, development, and application. Awareness of the constraints and needs of the other disciplines can be key in many situations. Such interdisciplinary activity and the associated communication are facilitated if the all participants have a solid knowledge of discipline-specific terminology and an understanding of connecting concepts. Consequently, experience relating to interdisciplinary teamwork is a necessary component of engineering education.

The Smart Engineering Group at the University of Missouri-Rolla was established to conduct interdisciplinary research and to create interdisciplinary educational resources. The topical interest area is smart structures which requires the integration of materials, structures, sensing, signal processing, manufacturing, etc. The interdisciplinary research and educational activities of the group, the assessment of those activities, and the experiences of several graduate students will be described. The effectiveness of collaborative student work was tied to the students’ understanding of the needed synergy and their comfort with cross-disciplinary communication. Also, an interdisciplinary course, which grew out of the group’s experiences, provided systematic preparation for graduate research projects. The role of this course will be discussed as it relates to the quality of collaborative experiences from both student and faculty perspectives.

I. Introduction

Engineering work is rarely confined to a single discipline. The successful application of both established technologies and new technologies often depend on the interdisciplinary knowledge and abilities of the responsible engineers. Consequently, the needs for engineering education to cross traditional boundaries and to develop team skills are widely recognized. 1 Current accreditation criteria address this need directly by requiring that engineering graduates demonstrate an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.2 Furthermore, interdisciplinary activity and the associated communication are most effective if all participants have a solid knowledge of discipline-specific terminology and an understanding of connecting concepts.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Watkins, S., & Hall, R., & Molander, M. J., & Corra, J., & Konz, B., & Chandrashekhara, K., & Eller, V., & Belarbi, A. (2002, June), Interdisciplinary Graduate Experience: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10086

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