June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.726.1 - 7.726.10
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
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.
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
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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