Asee peer logo

Project-based Guided Learning for Machine Elements Design Course

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Issues in Mechanical Engineering Technology I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Maher Shehadi Purdue Polytechnic Institute

visit author page

Dr. Shehadi is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at Purdue University. His academic experiences have focused on learning and discovery in areas related to HVAC, indoor air quality, human thermal comfort, and energy conservation. While working with industry, he oversaw maintenance and management programs for various facilities including industrial plants, high rise residential and commercial buildings, energy audits and condition surveys for various mechanical and electrical and systems. He has conducted several projects to reduce carbon dioxide and other building emission impacts by evaluating and improving the energy practices through the integration of sustainable systems with existing systems. His current research focuses on engaging and educating students in sustainable and green buildings' design and energy conservation. He is currently investigating various ways to reduce energy consumption in office buildings.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Project based learning (PBL) technique was adopted in Machine Elements Design course to motivate students enrolled in the course and better engage them in the process of learning. A project that links course learning outcomes with a topic of interest to industry and the community was selected. The project had two parts: design and fabrication. The field or topic of interest had to include all major parts and elements that are usually discussed in this course such as gears, chains, belts, shafts, bolts, bearings, etc. The project required the students to design and fabricate a garage door opening mechanism. Formal steps were followed by the instructor of the course to ensure consistency in the material delivered and the way it was delivered.

The students had the chance to experience real world problems and got engaged in a team oriented environment to design and fabricate the product. Basic project management skills were applied starting from feasible design and brainstorming, to conceptual and more detailed design before deciding on the final design. Detailed calculations were guided by the instructor to ensure the students were learning and understanding the new topics and material. When the design phase was completed, the students were required to fabricate a scaled prototype to check on the functionality of the product and experience the challenges that they might face in industry when trying to apply the design into real assembly and fabrication. Four teams and four different designs and products were obtained.

The grades of the students when following PBL teaching style were compared to previous grades when conventional learning was followed. The students’ performance and scores were significantly improved using PBL approach. The number of students scoring 80 out of 100 and higher was increased by 87.5%. Such active learning environments are expected to have other outcomes and impacts such as improved team working skills, communication capabilities, analytical reasoning in addition to project management skills.

Shehadi, M. (2019, June), Project-based Guided Learning for Machine Elements Design Course Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33206

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015