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Introducing Electrical Mechanical Systems With A Mechatronics Platform

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Trends in ME Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.804.1 - 9.804.11



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Paper Authors

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Donald Heer

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

Introducing a Mechatronic Platform to Freshman Mechanical Engineering Students

Vojislav Gajic, Donald Heer, Tom Thompson, Roger Traylor, Geoffrey Frost, Terri S. Fiez Oregon State University

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to introduce a Mechatronic platform that was recently developed to enhance Mechanical Engineering curriculum. This new platform provides hands-on experience, encourages innovation, and presents the means for a more holistic education of engineering graduates.

Introduction In today’s competitive market, there is a critical need for skilled engineering graduates. Historically, students have a good theoretical background after graduation; however, they lack practical, hands-on skills, as well as the ability to think on a system level that is critical for solving real-life engineering problems.

How does an engineering student gain hands on skills and the critical system level understanding of designs they might be asked to create? The era of homemade crystal radios and garage super- charged Ford Camaros is quickly disappearing to be replaced by the immediate gratification of playing video games, instant messaging, and browsing the internet [5]. These original hands-on activities served many purposes for burgeoning engineers. Hands-on experience with real systems yielded engineers who understood that ‘real’ systems have ‘real problems’.

To exasperate the problem more, the field of engineering is facing an even bigger challenge [8]. Historically, the engineering curriculum was formed in response to the workforce needed for the current technology. Today, the technology is changing too fast for the engineering education to keep up with. A new way of teaching engineering must be devised [8]. The engineering graduates of the future must be able to continuously reeducate themselves, adapt to changing conditions, integrate knowledge from various disciplines, and then apply this knowledge in innovative and active ways [4]. In words of Dr Joseph Bordogna, a National Science Foundation Leader:

“We all acknowledge that scientific and mathematical skills are necessary for professional success. An engineering student nevertheless must also experience the "functional core of engineering" -- the excitement of facing an open-ended challenge and creating something that has never been. Participating in the entire concurrent process of realizing a new product through integration of seemingly disparate skills is an educational imperative.”

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering"

Heer, D. (2004, June), Introducing Electrical Mechanical Systems With A Mechatronics Platform Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13002

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