June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Design in Engineering Education
12.1253.1 - 12.1253.15
Standard curriculum within the college of engineering at many universities seems to lack the strong hands on and project emphasis so valuable to many graduating engineers. Whether it is a collegiate competition, group project, or multidisciplinary design group, engineering students benefit greatly by being involved in a program of study that creates the need to manage a project from conception to completion. Not only do engineering students apply what they have learned in the classroom to a viable project, they also benefit greatly from actively working in a team environment much like they may experience upon graduation in an industry or “real world” setting.
The Mechanical Engineering Department allows and encourages undergraduate students to seek a path through their curriculum that employs project work as part of their studies. One group of projects in which students have worked with are some of the SAE Collegiate Design Series projects including Formula SAE, SAE Baja, and SAE Supermileage competitions. As with the majority of projects, these competitions are primarily design events, placing emphasis on project management, engineering analysis, marketing skills, and presentation ability. This transition from initial conception of the project to the final completion encompasses an enormous amount of information an engineering student will be exposed to within their field of study. The engineering skills required alone to complete an SAE project will touch on almost every aspect of an undergraduate student’s course of study through our Mechanical Engineering curriculum.
Of the major hurdles facing student design teams, one paramount concern is support from the Department, College and University. It is imperative the student group is well organized and acts in a profession manner in order to obtain and maintain this support. These teams are representatives of the University and it is important they maintain a professional attitude toward both their academic performance as well as the project in question. This involves comprehensive time management monitoring by both the student and either the team as a whole or a faculty member who is involved.
Creating and maintaining an academic engineering design team typically involves the following key elements:
• Student commitment • Academic credit for project work • Faculty support • Organization • Workspace and availability • Ability to generate financial support, Budget
Student interest in the SAE project is generally a non-issue. Most mechanical engineering students who have the time and aspirations will flock to a project that encompasses their coursework and studies as well as a competition where they can showcase their abilities and skills. The SAE Design projects our students have shown the greatest interest in are the SAE
Stover, C. (2007, June), Sae Collegiate Design Projects As Part Of The Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/3024
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