June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1362.1 - 26.1362.12
SelfDirected Summer Design Experience Across Disciplines and the Globe Prefered Session Topics (or similar): ● Integration of International Programs in the Engineering Curriculum ● Experiential and Project Based Learning in Engineering Program Overseas ● Preparing engineering students for international practice During the summer of 2014, the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) initiated a multidisciplinary international design experience for the benefit of the student populations of both institutions. The goal of this program was the create an international multidisciplinary teambased research and design project that included exposure to the academic and industrial environments in both Hong Kong as well as the United States, specifically the Boston area. The HarvardHKUST International Summer Design Experience occurred completely outside of any classroom setting during nine weeks and was colocated in Boston and Hong Kong for 4 weeks each. The objective for this program to be in both Hong Kong and Cambridge was to give the students a chance to work in each other's home areas, culturally, geographically and with respect to disciplinary expertise. The pedagogical approach was unique as that there was no embedded curriculum and students were able to freely pursue a project in a given topic area that they were interested in. The major topic for this summer was Visible Light Communication systems (VLC): these are lightbased communication systems that take advantage of recent advances in solid state lighting sources that can be rapidly modulated. These communications approaches are not unlike infrared communications and ‘wifi’, but leverage the growing presence of solid state lighting, with greater present flexibility in the portion of the spectrum accessible for communications. Students were tasked to research the problem, learn from experts in the field, generate possible solution paths, brainstorm multiple embodiments of a design, build, test, refine and present in a period of 9 weeks time. The students were not exposed to VLC concepts prior to this experience and most students did not have any prior design experience besides introductory engineering classes. At the end of 9 weeks, both groups presented to members of the SEAS and HKUST communities. Figure 1 shows the final prototypes of the students’ designs. In this paper we present the general pedagogical approach to this experience and provide some insights and examples of the effect the program is having on students. Beyond immersing the students in engineering design, the goal of this experience was to learn how to carry out a project and to participate in design teams where perhaps approaches and views (and cultures) might be different. The authors conducted a survey about students’ interest in pursuing graduate school and how their design selfefficacy changed throughout the experience. Nine weeks may not give students enough time to effect changes in their outlook, growth in understanding of different thought processes, or approaches and habits  but part of the 'design' of this program was to capture those elements as much as possible. Figure 1 shows the final prototypes of the students’ designs. Figure 1: a) Miner Location Tracking via VLC (left) and, b) Door Security using Mobile Phones and VLC (right). Photo Credit: Eliza Grennell (left) and Tian Zhang (right) References  Dym, CL , AM Agogino, O Eris, DD Frey, and LJ Leifer. "Engineering Design Thinking, Teaching, and Learning." Journal of Engineering Education 94, no. 1 (2005): 10320.
Lombardo, C. J., & Faas, D., & Uttamchandani, A., & Hu, E. L. (2015, June), Self-Directed Summer Design Experience Across Disciplines and the Globe Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24699
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