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Multidisciplinary Vertically Integrated Teams Working on Grand Challenges

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability and Grand Challenges

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1178.1 - 26.1178.13



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Paper Authors


Magdalini Z. Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Magda Lagoudas, Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University. Mrs. Lagoudas holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. She worked for the State of New York and industry before joining Texas A&M University in 1992. Since then, she developed and taught courses in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology. In 2001, she joined the Spacecraft Technology Center as an Assistant Director where she was responsible for the structural and thermal analysis of payloads. She served as Director of the Space Engineering Institute and in 2010 she accepted a position with the Academic Affairs office of the Dwight Look College of Engineering where she oversaw outreach, recruiting, retention and enrichment programs for the college. Since 2013, she serves as the Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships with responsibilities to increase opportunities for undergraduates engineering students to engage in experiential learning multidisciplinary team projects. These include promoting capstone design projects sponsored by industry, developing and teaching the Engineering Projects in Community Service course, and developing curricular and co-curricular programs at the Engineering Innovation Center which promote innovation and entrepreneurship among engineering students and in collaborations with other colleges on campus and partnering with other institutions across the country

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Jeffrey E. Froyd Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Jeffrey E. Froyd is a TEES Research Professor in the Office of Engineering Academic and Student Affairs at Texas A&M University, College Station. He received the B.S. degree in mathematics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He was an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. At Rose-Hulman, he co-created the Integrated, First-Year Curriculum in Science, Engineering and Mathematics, which was recognized in 1997 with a Hesburgh Award Certificate of Excellence. He served as Project Director a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Education Coalition in which six institutions systematically renewed, assessed, and institutionalized innovative undergraduate engineering curricula. He has authored over 70 papers and offered over 30 workshops on faculty development, curricular change processes, curriculum redesign, and assessment. He has served as a program co-chair for three Frontiers in Education Conferences and the general chair for the 2009 conference. Prof. Froyd is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), an ABET Program Evaluator, the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Education, a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education, and an Associate Editor for the International Journal of STEM Education.

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Multidisciplinary Vertically Integrated Teams Working on Grand ChallengesCalls for changes in the attributes that characterize engineering graduates have become commonin reports on engineering education in the last twenty years or so. To help realize these changes,we have developed a new approach for engaging engineering undergraduates in projectsassociated with grand challenges in engineering as outlined by National Academy ofEngineering, World Health, and others. The program was created to develop knowledge andskills for engineering design, lifelong learning, multidisciplinary teamwork, effectivecommunication, applying engineering fundamentals to problem solving, and appreciatinginfluences of engineering on people. Undergraduate student teams collaboratively addressmultidisciplinary research topics associated with grand challenges in engineering. Studentsparticipate in the program through teams of ten or more students representing at least threemajors and several levels (first-year to seniors). Each team is mentored by one or more facultymembers and a graduate student. Started as a small pilot program within a large engineeringcollege in 2012, more than four hundred students have participated in the last three years,earning course credit for one or more semesters.Survey data show students see value in the program in several areas that were the intent of theprogram design. These areas include learning for a lifetime, understanding design, functioningon a multidisciplinary team, and understanding societal, cultural, and economic influences ofengineering. More than 90% of survey responders report that they “strongly agree / agree” thatin this course they have taken opportunities to expand their knowledge, skills, and abilitiesbeyond just completing required assignments. More than 50% of survey responders rated theirgrowth in understanding what engineering can contribute to the society as “a great deal” as aresult of their involvement in the program. Based on the growth in student participation,continued interest from students and faculty members, the program has been expanded to includeindustry sponsored projects which are multidisciplinary and vertically integrated. This paper willdescribe program conception, implementation, and evaluation. The authors will present data onwhat students perceive as benefits, impact of program on recruiting for graduate programs, andtransferring this approach to industry-sponsored student team research projects.

Lagoudas, M. Z., & Froyd, J. E. (2015, June), Multidisciplinary Vertically Integrated Teams Working on Grand Challenges Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24515

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