June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1178.1 - 26.1178.13
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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