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Providing M.E. Students Opportunities to Enroll in Law School Courses

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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

Perspectives on Degree Completion and Graduate School Application

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1282.1 - 26.1282.11



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Paper Authors


Matt Gordon P.E. University of Denver

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Dr. Matt Gordon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. His research areas include numerical and experimental plasma physics, chemical and physical vapor deposition, electronic packaging, and bio-medical engineering. He has supervised to completion 26 MSME students and 5 PhD students. Publications include 1 book chapter, 32 journal publications, 47 refereed conference proceedings, 29 non-refereed publications, and 27 non-refereed presentations. He is responsible for funds as PI or Co-PI from 52 separate proposals totaling almost $6,500,000. Courses taught include undergraduate finite elements, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and engineering economics and ethics, and graduate finite elements, numerical methods, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, plasma fundamentals and gas dynamics.

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Bradley Davidson University of Denver

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Dr. Bradley Davidson is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and director of the Human Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Denver and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He holds a BS in civil engineering from Tennessee Tech, an MS in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from the Virginia Tech–Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. His research focuses on understanding and characterizing human movement across healthy and pathologic populations through in vivo experimental measurement and musculoskeletal modeling. Applications focus on fall prevention, spine stability, rehabilitation after total joint surgery, and muscle coordination and proprioception in the lumbo-pelvic region.

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Corinne Shirley Lengsfeld University of Denver

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Dr. Lengsfeld serves as the Associate Provost for Research and holds a tenured faculty position at the rank of Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Denver. As Associate Provost has oversight of the Office of Technology Transfer, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Center for Statistics and Visualization, the Center on Aging and serves as the Institutional Officer. She received her bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Irvine in 1992, 1993, and 1997 respectively. Her research specialization is in the interdisciplinary research of meso and micro-scale fluid systems. Her work has included investigation of biopharmaceutical delivery and processing, inhaled aerosol and deposition and optimization of complex fluid systems. Her work has been cited 628 times by more than 242 articles resulting in a web of science H-index of 14. During her 13 years at the University of Denver she has received over $4 Million in external funding from agencies like NSF, DHHS, DOL, DOD, State of Colorado, Keck Foundation as well as a mix to foundations and corporate contracts. Dr. Lengsfeld serves as Editor-in-Chief for the journal Atomization and Sprays.

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Bernard Chao University of Denver Sturm College of Law

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Bernard Chao joined the University of Denver after practicing law in Silicon Valley for almost twenty years. Professor Chao teaches patent and intelletual property law. His research focuses on patent issues involving the hi-tech industry. Some of the issues he has written about include: the rules for determining when software is patent eligible, patent remedies, the extraterritorial reach of U.S. patent law (particularly as applied to the semiconductor industry) transparency in patent litigation and cognitive bias in jury decision making. Professor Chao received his J.D. from Duke University and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.

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Providing ME Students Opportunities to Enroll in Law School CoursesOne of the strengths of the mechanical engineering curriculum is its broad applicability toa variety of professions. Thus, a student majoring in mechanical engineering may end upgoing to medical school, or earn an MBA. Another such alternative path which isgaining more traction is attending law school or directly applying for a job as a patentexaminer where a JD is not required. We strive to provide our students with informationto make better career decisions while still working on their undergraduate degrees. Wehave thus collaborated with our university’s law school to allow roughly five engineeringjuniors each year to enroll in one of their courses taken by second and third year lawschool students. To date, students have taken a course entitled ‘Introduction toIntellectual Property.’ This year, a second course is being added: ‘Environmental Law.’There are several challenges to overcome to provide this opportunity. For example, ourlaw school is on a semester system while our engineering program is on the quartersystem. Until last year, the two programs maintained different spring breaks. Eventuition and registration becomes problematic due to being in different schools/collegesand one being an undergraduate program and the other a graduate program. However,the benefits to the students have been shown to clearly outweigh the costs. In the fullpaper, we will detail the mechanisms used to successfully implement this program andprovide direct feedback from the students who have participated to date. In short, thestudents unanimously agreed that the program was extremely worthwhile and over 20%of those participating are now considering a career combining engineering and law.

Gordon, M., & Davidson, B., & Lengsfeld, C. S., & Chao, B. (2015, June), Providing M.E. Students Opportunities to Enroll in Law School Courses Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24619

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