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Introducing Freshmen To Engineering Through Interdisciplinary Design And Manufacturing

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Manufacturing Division Poster Session / Our Future in Manufacturing: STEM Outreach

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.804.1 - 14.804.15



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Paper Authors

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Mark Palmer Kettering University

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Douglas Melton Kettering University

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Henry Kowalski Kettering University

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Gerald Allen Kettering University

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

Introducing Freshmen to Engineering through Interdisciplinary Design and Manufacturing


Kettering University’s Introduction to Engineering Course (IME 100) has never been a traditional introduction to Engineering Course. Rather, due to unique history of the University, it once was wholly owned by General Motors, and still maintains an alternating co-op work experience, the introductory was developed to prepare students for their first co-op assignment. This assignment typically involved working in a manufacturing plant. Thus, the course was a combination of lecture supplemented with a hands-on exposure to manufacturing techniques. In 2001 a design component was added to the course.

Recently, a new pilot version of this course was developed as part of the continuous improvement efforts of the IME Department at Kettering. The pilot course differed from the traditional course by incorporating new subject matter and embracing innovative pedagogical teaching techniques. This paper describes the following

1) The systematic development of the pilot course in which "skeptics" played a key role, and 2) The results of this in-house experiment – or the success of the pilot course.

Development of Pilot Course

Continuous Improvement requires that one regularly review how well one is meeting the needs of one’s “customers”. As IME-100 is required of all engineering freshman, we felt that the engineering faculty best represented our “customers”. Our approach to continuous improvement was done in three phases.

Phase 1 - Systematic Survey (note this was automated and a demonstration will be included in the presentation)

We began by systematically surveying faculty from various departments. They participated in a four round survey.

The first round focused on brainstorming, two questions were asked.

Question One focused on topical coverage : “Please List Up to 20 Topics You Feel Should Be Covered in an Introduction to Engineering Course Based on Manufacturing and Design. Each topic should correspond to approximately 25-30 minutes of lecture / class time.

Question Two focused on pedagogy and teaching styles: “Please List Up to 10 Items (non-topic related) that would help the students be successful in the course. These could include the type of

Palmer, M., & Melton, D., & Kowalski, H., & Allen, G. (2009, June), Introducing Freshmen To Engineering Through Interdisciplinary Design And Manufacturing Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5589

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