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Redesign Of A Dynamic Modeling And Control Course For Multidisciplinary Engineering

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Course Innovation

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1016.1 - 14.1016.14



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Paper Authors

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Robert Rabb United States Military Academy

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Andrew Biaglow United States Military Academy

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David Chang United States Military Academy

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

Redesign of a Dynamic Modeling and Control Course for Multidisciplinary Engineering


Multidisciplinary engineering education experiences many challenges in its growth, but these changes also present new possibilities. Engineering education has recently emphasized more multidisciplinary work as graduates are expected to perform on multidisciplinary engineering teams and have some working knowledge in other engineering disciplines. A reasonable progression for this aim in multidisciplinary work is with the faculty. The need for multidisciplinary educators to work together as a team both in and out of the classroom requires adaptation from a traditional, single discipline focus. The multidisciplinary engineering education process at the United States Military Academy (USMA) is a coherent effort with excellent communications between faculties from different departments. This paper highlights a classical dynamical modeling and controls course with students and instructors from different departments: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering. Recent creation of a chemical engineering curriculum necessitated incorporation of controls engineering coursework in their program of study. An existing dynamic modeling and controls course existed between two departments: electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. With the introduction of chemical engineers in the course, the chemical engineering specific lessons are taught by a chemical engineering instructor. This organizational structure is important, allowing the multidisciplinary faculty team to synchronize their efforts, bringing their individual strengths and resources together for the course to promote student learning. The instructors engage in meaningful dialogue concerning their assignments, lesson preparations, laboratory exercises, and their results. The information flow between instructors from different departments encourages faculty learning by pushing the instructors beyond their own discipline. This paper illustrates some of the course details employed between three engineering departments to advance and enrich a multidisciplinary controls engineering course. Advantages to empowering a multidisciplinary faculty are also described. The techniques described allow the students to benefit from the work of a multidisciplinary faculty team and enrich the students’ understanding by bringing in real world projects and examples.


In 2005 the National Academy of Engineering in “Educating the Engineer of 2020,” stated many ideas of co-teaching, just in time teaching, and multi-disciplinary teaching.1 Government, private industry and various academic institutions feel that it is important to integrate engineering because most systems existing presently are developed with integrated engineering teams. Discipline specific organizations have identified the need for their disciplines to cross boundaries. In the “2028 Vision for Mechanical Engineering,’ from ASME, the report draws attention to the complexity of advanced technologies and the multiple scales at which systems interact. Both will require engineers to collaborate in developing multidisciplinary solutions.2 In “Vision 2020: Reaction Engineering Roadmap,” from AIChE, participants acknowledged the need for multidisciplinary education to handle highly integrated knowledge and suggested

Rabb, R., & Biaglow, A., & Chang, D. (2009, June), Redesign Of A Dynamic Modeling And Control Course For Multidisciplinary Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4778

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