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Managing Interdisciplinary Senior Design with Nuclear Applications

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Professional Skills and Teaming in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Tristan Utschig Kennesaw State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Tristan T. Utschig is Associate Director for Learning Sciences in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and is Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Kennesaw State University. Formerly, he was Assistant Director for CETL and the Office of Assessment at Georgia Tech, and prior that was a tenured Associate Professor of Engineering Physics at Lewis-Clark State College. Dr. Utschig consults with faculty across the university about bringing scholarly teaching and learning innovations into their classroom and assessing their impact. He has regularly published and presented work on a variety of topics including assessment instruments and methodologies, using technology in the classroom, faculty development in instructional design, teaching diversity, and peer coaching. Dr. Utschig completed his PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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Sandip Das Kennesaw State University Orcid 16x16

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Sandip Das is currently an Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Das received his Ph.D. and M.E. in Electrical Engineering from University of South Carolina, Columbia, in 2014 and 2012 respectively. He completed his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST, Shibpur, India) in 2004. His current research interests include photovoltaic solar cells for sustainable and renewable energy generation, development of radiation detection and monitoring devices, applied electronics for measurement and instrumentation, and development of technology enhanced teaching tools and pedagogical framework for improved engineering education.

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Valmiki Sooklal Kennesaw State University

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Research interests are focused primarily in laser/material interaction, sustainable housing and engineering education.

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Eduardo Farfan Kennesaw State University

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This paper presents results from an investigation into how interdisciplinary senior design projects emphasizing nuclear engineering applications can best be managed, along with suggested technical content areas within nuclear engineering carrying strong interdisciplinary potential. This work is important because an aging nuclear industry workforce will need to be replaced soon, and due to recent national emphasis on detection of nuclear materials to fight terrorism, radiation detection and monitoring for nuclear medicine applications, and design of small modular nuclear reactors. In the paper, the most likely technical content overlap between nuclear and other fields of engineering is discussed. Also, results of a literature search demonstrate that nuclear engineering projects are exceedingly rare within interdisciplinary senior design. Therefore, a project management framework using results from an exploration of the literature on interdisciplinary senior design to identify salient issues pertaining to nuclear engineering is presented. Issues include raising awareness among faculty mentors from different subject areas about potential project areas; addressing nuclear specific codes and standards; and challenges when working across disciplines in project funding, the student team formation process, student credit hours granted, and workload allocation for faculty advisors to the projects. Finally, two interdisciplinary case studies involving nuclear engineering topics are discussed – one from mechanical engineering and one from electrical engineering. These case studies include descriptions of the projects along with reflections and assessments by students and faculty mentors on their impact.

Utschig, T., & Das, S., & Sooklal, V., & Farfan, E. (2017, June), Managing Interdisciplinary Senior Design with Nuclear Applications Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28646

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