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Multidisciplinary Dynamic Systems Curriculum

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.866.1 - 8.866.9



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Paper Authors

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Timothy Cameron

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Rosalyn Hobson

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Gary Huvard

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

Session 1417

A Multidisciplinary Dynamic Systems Curriculum Timothy M. Cameron, Rosalyn S. Hobson, Gary S. Huvard Virginia Commonwealth University

Abstract Faculty in Chemical, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering collaborated in developing a new course, “Process and System Dynamics,” and new dynamic systems laboratory exercises that can be used in a variety of courses and disciplines. The objective was to educate students in the fundamentals of dynamic systems and expose them to a broad diversity of applications in different disciplines. The labs are largely complete and are being used by students from different majors in several courses. After three offerings of “Process and System Dynamics,” a new approach is being taken that provides common instruction on shared topics with discipline- specific breakout sessions to cover unique disciplinary topics in depth. This paper discusses both the new course and the laboratory exercises, and shows how they are supporting the curricula of all three majors.

Background Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) dates its origin to 1815 with the establishment of the Medical College of Virginia.1 VCU is now composed of two campuses located in the capitol city of Richmond, Virginia: the Medical College of Virginia Campus located near the financial, governmental and retail district in downtown Richmond and the Academic Campus situated two miles west in the historic Fan District.

The VCU School of Engineering (SoE) was established in 1996 as an initiative of the University's strategic planning process in response to workforce and economic development needs of Richmond and central Virginia.2 The initial undergraduate programs in mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering received ABET accreditation in 2001. The school added a new undergraduate major in biomedical engineering in the Fall of 1998, and VCU's long standing degree programs in Computer Science joined the SoE in the fall of 2001. In May of 2000 a graduate degree program in engineering was created and added to the historic graduate programs of biomedical engineering. With the admission of its sixth class in the Fall of 2001, the SoE now enrolls over 1000 students. The first two of the new school's planned facilities opened in the Fall of 1998 — the main classroom building and the Virginia Microelectronics Research Center. Together, they total 147,000 sq. ft. at a cost of $42 million. Average SAT scores of incoming freshman are about 1250, which is in the national top 5 to 7 percentile.

From the beginning, the development of the School was a collaboration between the university and the industrial community, which is reflected in its curriculum, in the industrial experience students have available, in the inclusion of business courses in the engineering curriculum, and the recruitment of faculty with industrial experience. Over 50 companies have hired SoE graduates and almost 100 companies have offered internship placements for students. In addition to permanent placements and student internships in industry, the SoE has been engaged in detailed technical exchanges with Infineon, Ethyl, Dominion Virginia Power, MacroSonix,

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Cameron, T., & Hobson, R., & Huvard, G. (2003, June), Multidisciplinary Dynamic Systems Curriculum Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11622

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