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Recruitment and Engagement of Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Students in Interdisciplinary Research Projects

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Potpourri

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1103.1 - 25.1103.9



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Paper Authors


Tolga Kaya Central Michigan University

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Tolga Kaya currently holds a joint Assistant Professor position in the School of Engineering and Technology and the Science of Advanced Materials program at Central Michigan University (CMU). Prior to joining CMU, Kaya was a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University (2007-2010), a Research and Teaching Assistant at Istanbul Technical University (1999-2007), a consultant at Brightwell Corp., Istanbul (2007), a senior VLSI analog Design Engineer and Project Coordinator at Microelectronics R&D Company, Istanbul (2000-2006), and a Visiting Assistant in research at Yale University (2004-2005). Kaya received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electronics engineering from Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey. His research interests in electrical engineering and applied sciences are analog VLSI circuit design and testing, MEMS sensor design, fabrication and testing, micro batteries, and energy harvesting systems. Kaya is also involved in biomedical engineering where bacterial hydrodynamics are studied under various shear flow regimes to enlighten the bacterial infections in catheterized patients.

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Recruitment and Engagement of Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Students in Interdisciplinary Research ProjectsThis paper discusses current recruitment and student engagement efforts by the PrincipalInvestigator (PI). 8 undergraduate students have been successfully recruited for aninterdisciplinary sensor development project. School of Engineering and Technology (ET)undergraduate students were targeted where Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineeringprograms, and Industrial Manufacturing Technology program were available. Projectdescriptions were written and advertised through PI’s web site and via flyers spread around theET building. Students were also reached through classrooms via “elevator pitch” presentationsby PI. Furthermore, individual students have been contacted by offering help in graduate schoolapplications and resume preparations.Once the students were recruited, PI made sure that students understand that the projects have acommon theme (sensors for physiological activity monitoring) and that each project would helpeach other. Instead of creating a competition between students, they are strongly encouraged tocollaborate with each other. Weekly group meetings are organized and students share theirfindings with the group. Each student would also present their progress at least once in every fewmonths. Students are required to send weekly, even daily short reports (when there is a certaindeadline) via e-mail. At the end of each semester, a performance review session is organizedwith each individual student. Students are required to criticize their performance and proposeways of improving their weaknesses. PI also gives a constructive feedback and explains clearexpectations. A 360 survey has been implemented by the human resources department of theuniversity where students were able to critique the PI, anonymously. International and nationalstudents were successfully merged to form small research groups as well to improve theproductivity.This paper will give the details on recruitment and student engagement efforts by providing datasuch as survey results, student testimonies, student profiles, and brief project descriptions.Outcomes from student projects will be reported and future plans to improve the retention will bediscussed.

Kaya, T. (2012, June), Recruitment and Engagement of Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Students in Interdisciplinary Research Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21860

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