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Introduction to Engineering Design for Freshman: Implementation of Leadership and Service Learning for Broadening Engineering Ingenuity

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

First-year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.966.1 - 22.966.13



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Paper Authors


Lisa A. Pruitt University of California, Berkeley

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Ph.D. Engineering Brown University, Providence, RI, May 1993.
Doctoral Thesis: Cyclic Damage Ahead of Fatigue Cracks in Amorphous Solids: Theory, Experiments, and Implications.
Sc.M. Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI, May 1990.
Masters Thesis: Fatigue Behavior of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Composites Under Far-Field Cyclic Compression
Sc.B. Materials. Engineering, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, May 1988.
Sc.B. Chemical and Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, May 1988.

Work Experience:
University of California, Berkeley, College of Engineering, Berkeley, CA, 1993 - present.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 1993 - present
Professor of Bioengineering, 1998 - present.
Director of the Medical Polymer and Biomaterials Group, 1993 - present
Mechanical Engineering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer, 2009 - present.
Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Bioengineering, 2002 - 2003
Director, Engineering Systems Research Center, College of Engineering, 2003 - 2004.
Chancellor’s Professor, 2004 - 2009.
Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Outreach Education, College of Engineering, 2005 - 2007
Lawrence Talbot Chaired Professorship in Engineering, 2007 - present
University of California at San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, 2001 - present.
Adjunct Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, 2001 - present.

Research is focused on structure–property relationships in orthopedic tissues, biomaterials and medical polymers. Current projects include the assessment of fatigue fracture mechanisms and tribological performance of orthopedic biomaterials, as well as characterization of tissues and associated devices. Surface modifications using plasma chemistry are used to optimize polymers for medical applications. Attention is focused on wear, fatigue, fracture and multiaxial loading. Retrievals of orthopedic implants are characterized to model in vivo degradation and physiological loading. Medical implant analysis for structure-function-performance is performed to optimize device design. Biomechanical characterization of tissues is performed to assess clinical treatments and to develop constitutive relationships. Laboratory techniques for structural characterization include SEM, TEM, FEM, SAXS, USAXS, XPS, DSC, GPC, FTIR, AFM, confocal microscopy, wear testing, fatigue testing, fracture mechanics analysis, and nanoindentation. Research supported by NIH, NSF, ONR, DARPA, OREF, and the medical device industry. Pedagogical experience includes curriculum development in mechanical engineering and bioengineering. Teaching experience includes undergraduate courses on Mechanical Behavior and Processing of Materials, Structural Aspects of Biomaterials, and Principles of Bioengineering; graduate courses on Fracture Mechanics, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, and Polymer Engineering.

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Introduction to Engineering Design for Freshman: Implementation of Leadership and Service Learning for Broadening Engineering IngenuityAbstract   Engineering Design and Analysis is a course that provides first year students anintroduction to the profession of engineering through a variety of small group design projects(modules). The main concepts of the course are developed. The primary objectives of the courseare based on ABET criteria and are to: enhance critical thinking and design skills; introducestudents to a broad view of engineering analysis and design; reinforce the importance ofmathematics and science in engineering design and analysis; emphasize communication skills,both written and oral; develop teamwork skills; offer experience in hands-on, creativeengineering projects; provide an introduction to different fields of engineering; and introducestudents to the ethical context of engineering. Recently, a new model on the topic of leadershipand service was implemented into the course to provide the framework for professionaldevelopment. The lecture aspect (3hrs/week) of the module presents mechanisms for developingpersonal and team leadership styles; addresses differences in learning and personality styles;provides pathways for creating mission statements and plans of action; and offers opportunitiesfor strategic thinking, problem solving and brainstorming, and teamwork. The hands-on aspect ofthe module (3hrs/week) involves service teaching in the k-12 sector and is centered upon theimplementation of team teaching projects entitled “Ingenuity in Action.” These projects aredeveloped and implemented by the freshman enrolled in the course in collaboration with thelocal science museum affiliated with our university. The Ingenuity in Action projects developed by the freshman groups must utilize theNASA encapsulation of the engineering design process and must also allow for the creativeexperience of k-12 students who participate in the exhibit. Within this exhibit there are threeactivity stations that the students can work within three design paradigms: (i) Fly High: Create aflying machine and test it in a wind tube, (ii) Design and Drive: Combine wheels and treads tooptimize your vehicle for climbing on rough surfaces. This project is more constrained due torequirements of gear ratios and terrain, etc., and (iii) Span the Gap: Experiment with the basicbuilding of bridges to create your own. At the completion of the module, the student teams eachprovide a technical report (5 pgs) that includes a mission statement, narrative storyboardillustrating how their project engaged the k-12 sector in their projects, and a technical sectionthat describes how they implemented the engineering design process in their projects. Inaddition, each team provides a 10-minute oral presentation at the science museum that outlinestheir design project development. Science museum staff, the graduate student instructors,professor of the course, and their peers, assesses all teams. The students are also assessed at theinitial and final phase of the module to assess their engineering strengths as defined by ABET.This project includes opportunities for development of leadership skills, teamwork, andcommunication skills. This course module serves as a model for broadening engineeringparticipation while staying true to the mission of ABET criteria in our engineering curricula [1].[1] Jeffers, A.T., A.G. Safferman, and S.I. Safferman, “Understanding K-12 EngineeringOutreach  

Pruitt, L. A. (2011, June), Introduction to Engineering Design for Freshman: Implementation of Leadership and Service Learning for Broadening Engineering Ingenuity Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18185

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