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Practicing Real World Design, Teamwork, And Communications Through Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering Projects

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1007.1 - 10.1007.25



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Paper Authors

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Richard Schultz

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Arnold Johnson

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

Practicing Real World Design, Teamwork, and Communications through Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering Projects

Richard R. Schultz and Arnold F. Johnson

University of North Dakota Department of Electrical Engineering


Students enrolled in the B.S.E.E. with an Aerospace Focus program at the University of North Dakota (UND) receive a traditional electrical engineering degree, along with aviation coursework and a private pilot’s license. Cross-campus collaborations with UND’s world- renowned aerospace program provide the students with many experiential learning opportunities that satisfy EAC/ABET EC2000 design, multidisciplinary teamwork, and communication skill outcomes. Examples of ongoing systems engineering projects include AEROCam, a multispectral imager designed for flight in UND Aviation small aircraft; AgCam, a two-band imaging sensor to be installed in the International Space Station for capturing precision agriculture data; and a radio-controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with a three-meter wingspan, capable of flying four-kilogram scientific payloads. A major benefit of working on these multidisciplinary projects is that the students must learn to communicate well in order to be successful on a large team, which is virtually impossible to teach without some form of experiential learning opportunity. Undergraduates who excel at designing complex electrical subsystems must also understand the importance of the integration and test process when building a much larger system containing electrical, mechanical, and software components. From a “real world” perspective, these projects provide the same technical challenges, team environment, personality conflicts, and ever-changing workforce as industry. Brief case studies will be provided for these three systems engineering projects, as well as several other projects initiated at the University of North Dakota. Judging by the success of recent UND B.S.E.E. graduates working as systems engineers, the Aerospace Focus program has been a worthwhile endeavor, but it requires an enormous amount of faculty energy.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Schultz, R., & Johnson, A. (2005, June), Practicing Real World Design, Teamwork, And Communications Through Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering Projects Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15303

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