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Investigation of the Benefits of Using a Case Study Method to Teach Mechanical Engineering Fundamentals Courses to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.832.1 - 23.832.10



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Paper Authors


Wayne W. Walter Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Wayne Walter is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He received his B.S. in Marine Engineering from SUNY Maritime College, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University, and his Ph.D. in Mechanics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Walter has worked for the U.S. Army, Rochester Products and Delco Products Divisions of General Motors, and Xerox, and is a registered professional engineer in New York. He has thirty-five years experience teaching design related courses, and has developed expertise in the areas of robotics, and micro-robotics. He is currently working on the locomotion of micro-robots with micro-sensors and actuators, and on artificial muscles and sensors using electroactive polymers.

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Michael G. Schrlau Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Dr. Michael Schrlau is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the founding director of the Nano-Bio Interface Laboratory (NBIL) at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Schrlau is interested in several aspects critical to the interface of nanotechnology and biology, including nanomanufacturing, nanomanipulation, technology-biology interactions, and biomedical applications, and investigates micro/nanoscalefluid behavior and develops related micro/nanotechnologies for biological metrology. Dr. Schrlau earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Schrlau worked for Kimberly-Clark Corp in roles ranging from R&D engineering to operations management. In 2009, Dr. Schrlau earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania for his research on carbon-based biological nanoprobes. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at Temple University, he joined the Department of MaterialsScience and Engineering at Drexel University as a research assistant professor in November 2009, where he led the research activities of the W. M. Keck Institute. During the same time, Dr. Schrlau was also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His research appears in several high impact journals, including Nature Nanotechnoloy, ACS Nano, Small, and Nanotechnology, was featured in Nanotechnology (cover image) and ACS Nano, and has resulted in several patents. Dr. Schrlau actively supports graduate and undergraduate research and is active in nanotechnology K-12 outreach.

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Patricia Iglesias National Technical Institute for the Deaf

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Dr. Patricia Iglesias Victoria is an assistant professor of Engineering Studies at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY. Previously she served as an associate professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain. Her research focuses on wear and friction of materials, ionic liquids as lubricants and nanostructured materials. She maintains an active collaboration with the research groups of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and Materials Processing and Tribology at Purdue University, Indiana. As a result of these collaborations, some of her articles have been published in important journals of her field of expertise and her article entitled “1-N-alkyl-3 methykimidazolium ionic liquids as neat lubricant additives in steel-aluminum contacts” has been named one of the TOP TEN CITED articles published in the area in the last five years (2010). Since she started working at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Patricia has been actively involved in the field of deaf access technology and education.

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Kate N. Leipold Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)


Timothy Aaron Nichols Rochester Institute of Technology

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Timothy Nichols is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He works with Dr. Walter, Dr. Schrlau, Dr. Iglesias, and Professor Leipold on the Case Study Project sponsored by the NTID Research Center for Teaching and Learning RCfTL. Mr. Nichols is in his second year as a student in the Honors Program at RIT, is a National Merit Scholar, and is an active member of campus life. He has served on the executive board of one of the largest student clubs at RIT. He is currently pursuing his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in aerospace, and plans to pursue a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering once his undergraduate work is completed.

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Investigation of the Benefits of Using a Case Study Method to TeachMechanical Engineering Fundamentals Courses to Deaf and Hard of HearingStudentsThe case study method of teaching is used routinely in college business programs and medicalresidency programs but is not widely used in teaching engineering courses. Some examples existin the literature that show that it engages hearing students’ interest and helps them betterappreciate the importance of understanding fundamental principles, that otherwise may besomewhat dry and uninteresting. The authors have not found any articles in the literature wherethe method has been used successfully to stimulate deaf and hard of hearing engineeringstudents. The hypothesis of this project is that the case study method will also engage the interestof deaf and hard of hearing students as well as hearing students, improve their performance inthese courses, and ultimately improve their retention.

Walter, W. W., & Schrlau, M. G., & Iglesias, P., & Leipold, K. N., & Nichols, T. A. (2013, June), Investigation of the Benefits of Using a Case Study Method to Teach Mechanical Engineering Fundamentals Courses to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19846

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