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Introducing Emerging Technologies Into The Curriculum Through A Multidisciplinary, Industrially Sponsored Research Experience

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.652.1 - 6.652.7



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Paper Authors

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James Newell

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Kathryn Hollar

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Mariano Savelski

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Stephanie Farrell

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Robert Hesketh

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C. Stewart Slater

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Kevin Dahm

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

Session 1413

Introducing Emerging Technologies into the Curriculum through a Multidisciplinary Research Experience

James A. Newell, Kevin D. Dahm, Stephanie H. Farrell, Robert P. Hesketh, Kathryn Hollar, Mariano Savelski and C. Stewart Slater Department of Chemical Engineering Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028

Abstract This paper describes Rowan University’s novel approach to integrating emerging technologies into the chemical engineering curriculum. Through an eight-semester project-based course sequence, every engineering student works in multidisciplinary on a series of projects, many of which are sponsored by regional industries. In addition to providing a mechanism to introduce emerging technologies, the clinics provide the students with experience in working in multidisciplinary teams, exposure to industrial projects with real deadlines and deliverables and an opportunity to develop their oral and written communication skills. Several brief case studies of clinic projects are also discussed.

Introduction Students and employers clamor for more exposure to emerging technologies such as biotechnology, advanced materials, pharmaceutical production, particle technologies, food engineering, and green engineering (1,2). However, it is difficult to work these topics into an already overcrowded chemical engineering curriculum, which already average 133 credits (3). Often, professors attempt to address this problem by developing and assigning homework problems within their classes that touch on these issues (4-6). Although these are certainly worthwhile activities, these problems and unit operations lab experiments usually do not give the students the level of exposure that they and their future employers want. In some programs, selected undergraduate students are given the opportunity to work with a professor on his or her research through an honors program. Unfortunately, a small fraction of students are able to participate in these programs.

At the same time, industries report both that new hires lack experience in working in multidisciplinary team environments and that effectiveness in teams is an essential skill for professional success (7-9). Many universities are responding to this challenge by introducing multidisciplinary laboratory or design courses (10,11). At Rowan University, we have developed a method of addressing these diverse challenges, while also implementing pedagogical valuable hands-on learning experiences (12,13) and technical communications (14-16).

At Rowan University, all engineering students participate in an eight-semester course sequence known as the engineering clinics (17). In the Junior and Senior years, these clinic courses involve multidisciplinary student teams working on semester-long or year- long research projects led by an engineering professor. Most of these projects have been

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Newell, J., & Hollar, K., & Savelski, M., & Farrell, S., & Hesketh, R., & Slater, C. S., & Dahm, K. (2001, June), Introducing Emerging Technologies Into The Curriculum Through A Multidisciplinary, Industrially Sponsored Research Experience Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9470

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