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Intradisciplinary Teaching In The Engineering Studies Curriculum: Applying Numerical Modeling Techniques To Statics Problems

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Mechanics Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.957.1 - 12.957.12



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Paper Authors


Wayne Johnson Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Wayne Johnson is currently an Assistant Professor in Engineering Studies at
Armstrong Atlantic
State University in Savannah, GA. He recently received his Ph. D. in mechanical engineering from
Georgia Tech. His current research interests include mechatronics,
vibrations and engineering education.

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Priya Goeser Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Priya T. Goeser is currently an Assistant Professor of Engineering Studies
at Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA. She received her Ph.D.
in mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware in 2001. Her
current research interests are finite element modeling, functionally graded
materials and engineering education.

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

Intradisciplinary Teaching in the Engineering Studies Curriculum: Applying Numerical Modeling Techniques to Statics Problems Abstract

Students often view the classes in the Engineering Studies curriculum at Armstrong Atlantic State University as being a set of discrete and disconnected courses. This misunderstanding leads to a struggle to retain and apply course concepts from one class to subsequent classes. This work attempts to address this issue by the development of an intradisciplinary teaching and learning effort across a Statics and Computational Modeling course. The approach employed the use of specific problem examples from the Statics course (ENGR 2001) adapted for use in the Computational Modeling course (ENGR 2010). These are two of the core courses taken by mechanical and civil engineers during their sophomore year. The Statics course presents the principles of statics including equilibrium of rigid bodies, analysis of truss systems, shear and bending moment diagrams, and the calculation of centroids and center of mass. Emphasis is also placed on teaching the students to analyze problems in a systematic and logical manner. The main objective of the Computational Modeling course is to study the fundamentals of numerical methods and to develop computer programs for solving engineering problems using MATLAB. Examples of numerical methods include solving roots of equations, linear algebraic equations, integration and differentiation. Assessment of this effort was accomplished with supplementary course evaluation questions given at the end of the semester. This paper will discuss the results of the student projects and evaluations, and the authors’ experiences with this intradisciplinary teaching effort.


This paper presents efforts over two semesters to integrate course materials between two sophomore level engineering courses. The two courses, Statics (ENGR 2001) and Computational Modeling (ENGR 2010), are usually taken concurrently by mechanical and civil engineering students in the fall semester. Both courses can be considered the students’ first “real” engineering courses after their first calculus-based physics course. The ultimate goal of this effort is knowledge transfer between courses within a discipline. For example, if the student is faced with an engineering design problem that could benefit from using tools from multiple courses, they will recall and correctly implement those tools to obtain a solution.

The Engineering Studies Program at Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) is part of a regional engineering program in which students complete their initial two years at AASU and then transfer to Georgia Tech to complete their engineering degrees. The program enrollment is approximately 215 students with 70 of those declared as mechanical or civil engineering majors.

There has been much work in the area of interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Interdisciplinary teaching involves specific efforts to apply knowledge and concepts to multiple academic disciplines simultaneously. Many courses combining knowledge from various areas have been established including nanodevices and public policy1, petroleum engineering and business management2 and multidisciplinary capstone senior design projects3, 4. In addition to interdisciplinary curricula, several multidisciplinary departments and schools have been

Johnson, W., & Goeser, P. (2007, June), Intradisciplinary Teaching In The Engineering Studies Curriculum: Applying Numerical Modeling Techniques To Statics Problems Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1990

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