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Paralleling The Workplace On The University Campus:The Engineer In Residence Program At Ohio Northern University

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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

International Engineering Education II

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.913.1 - 8.913.6

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Paper Authors

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Chow Michael

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Barry Farbrother

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


Abstract  The Engineer-in-Residence (EiR) program is a collaborative initiative between the T.J. Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University (ONU), and Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC (MAP). The program provides an office within the college of engineering from which a practicing professional – the Engineer-in-Residence – operates. The Engineer-in-Residence is an employee of MAP, not ONU. The EiR office space i s leased under an annual contract, which includes the provision of some support services. The facility is a scaled-down professional office providing a dedicated office for the EiR, and several engineering cubicles for use by college of engineering undergraduate students. Each station contains a computer workstation, which is linked to the ONU LAN thereby enabling students to gain access to MAP’s LAN. Currently MAP has more than fifty projects on which students work under the direction of the EiR. Therefore the program provides students with opportunities to work on real world projects in an environment that parallels the workplace. The agreement also provides a mechanism whereby college of engineering faculty members may invite the EiR to participate in class activities. For up to 15 hours per academic quarter the EiR may be call ed upon to address workplace-related issues, thereby providing students with a better preparation for professional practice. Example topics include engineering standards, economic, environmental, sustainability, manufacturability, ethical, health and safety, social, and political issues. This paper describes the program, includes comment from the Engineer-in-Residence, undergraduates students, and the dean of engineering at Ohio Northern University.

Index Terms  Professional practice, Co-operative education, Experiential work, and Innovative program.

Introduction The Engineer-in-Residence (EiR) Program was initiated on September 19th, 2001. It is a unique collaborative effort between the Thomas Jefferson Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University (ONU), and Marathon Ashland Petroleum Company (MAP). The program provides professional workspace located within the Biggs Engineering building at ONU, which includes an office for the EiR and four engineering cubicles for use by college of engineering students. During its first year of operation MAP provided more than 50 projects to the EiR for engineering students to work on.

The EiR is Mr. Michael Chow, PE, a 1992 electrical engineering graduate of Ohio Northern University. Mr. Chow is has worked for the company for 10 years and continues to be a MAP employee. He brings a wide range of company experience to this newly created, independent position.

The EiR Office The goal of both ONU and MAP is to bring the professional workplace into the academic environment. The office occupies about 560 square feet of space – a previously unused, small classroom, designated to become a materials laboratory, but which had not been developed due to funding constraints. ONU made improvements to the facility and MAP provided all the furniture for a fully equipped manager’s office and four engineering workstations. The workspace replicates the engineering environment at MAP – professional quality workspaces, Pentium computers, printer, fax machine, etc., all of which were supplied by the company. Access to the office is facilitated by the use of an electronic lock that enables students to work hours that suit their particular schedules. Mr. Chow’s normal workweek runs from Tuesday through Saturday, thereby enabling him to be present outside of regularly scheduled academic (M-F) time. These arrangements guarantee students’ access to the EiR on a weekly basis. The computer workstations are equipped with MAP standard software and 1 Dr. Barry J. Farbrother, Ph. D., C.Eng., Dean, T. J. Smull College of Engineering, Ada, Ohio 45810, USA. 2 Mr. Michael Chow, PE, Engineer in Residence, Biggs Engineering building, 525 South Main St, Ada, OH 45810, USA

ASEE Annual Conference, Nashville, TN. USA. June 23-25, 2003

Michael, C., & Farbrother, B. (2003, June), Paralleling The Workplace On The University Campus:The Engineer In Residence Program At Ohio Northern University Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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