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Redesign of Outboard Motors for Use in the Grand Canyon

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Capstone Courses and Design Education

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1225.1 - 22.1225.24



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Paper Authors

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Trian M. Georgeou Arizona State University


Scott Danielson Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Dr. Scott Danielson is the Department Chair of the Engineering Technology Department at Arizona State University and has served in this capacity since 1999. He has been active in ASEE in the Mechanics Division and the Engineering Technology Division, currently serving on the Executive Board of the Engineering Technology Council. He has also been active in ASME; being awarded the 2009 Ben C. Sparks Medal for excellence in mechanical engineering technology education, serving as a member of the Vision 2030 Task Force, serving as chair elect of the Committee on Engineering Technology Accreditation, serving on the Board of Directors of the ASME Center for Education, and as a member of the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Head Committee. He has been a program evaluator for both the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and ASME and currently serves on the Technology Accreditation Council (TAC) of ABET, representing ASME. He also serves on the SME’s Manufacturing Education and Research Community steering committee. Before joining ASU, he had been at North Dakota State University where he was a faculty member in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering department. His research interests include machining, effective teaching and engineering mechanics. Before coming to academia, he was a design engineer, maintenance supervisor, and plant engineer. He is a registered professional engineer.

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Chell A. Roberts Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

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Redesign of Outboard Motors for Use in the Grand CanyonIntroductionThis paper details a two-semester design and build project accomplished by a multidisciplinarystudent team working on a problem funded by the Grand Canyon River Outfitter’s Association(GCROA). Students from three engineering-based degree programs were involved in theproject. This reflects a primary objective of our capstone experience; to provide, in a projectsetting, an educational experience consistent with professional practice. Student motivation wasalso augmented by this project as it was part of a larger effort to enhance the environmentalaspects of float trips through the Grand Canyon. Thus, the curricular design “flavor” of theproject is consistent with recommendations from several recent engineering educational studies,including Sheppard et al. (2009) and Duderstadt (2008). Both of these reports strongly urge theadoption of curricular mechanisms that include practice-like experiences, including both designand prototyping, which are connected to important issues within society.Project DescriptionThe GCROA has funded a multi-year project set, involving up to four Universities, focused onreducing the environmental impacts on motorized float trips through the Grand Canyon. Animportant environmental consideration was noise. Thus, in the first year of the effort, electricmotors became a primary solution mode. Also, data from the GCROA indicated that theoutboard motor lower ends, designed for much less rigorous use, often were damaged. Thus, inthe second year of the effort, the GCROA funded two schools to design and build prototypes of amuch more robust lower end which were also adapted for electric motors.The first semester was focused on the team completing a rigorous design process, involvingestablishing the problem statement, generation and evaluation of criteria, constraints, feasiblesolutions, and selection of the best design solution. The second semester was focused on thefinal detailed design and manufacture of the prototype, all accomplished by the students. Theprototype was tested on the water at the end of the project.Additional explanation and description of the process of forming the multidisciplinary team andtheir implementation of the design and build effort are described in the full paper. Assessmentdata are included that relate to the learning and enhanced educational experience of the studentsare included.

Georgeou, T. M., & Danielson, S., & Roberts, C. A. (2011, June), Redesign of Outboard Motors for Use in the Grand Canyon Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18869

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