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Significance Of Mechanical Design Laboratory On Student Projects, A Preliminary Study

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Graphics Applications in ME

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.997.1 - 7.997.6



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Raymond Yee

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

Main Menu Session 2238

Significance of Mechanical Design Laboratory on Student Projects, A Preliminary Study

Raymond K. Yee San Jose State University

Introduction Engineering courses emphasize analysis and problem solving abilities a great deal. Many of the homework assignments are designed for developing these analytical skills. However, besides analytical skills, creative thinking, communication, and teamwork skills are also very important from the university’s perspective. Design projects for engineering classes can complement the development of these skills in students’ learning. Therefore, an environment that can foster such skill development can be an important part of the undergraduate engineering education. For this reason, a mechanical design lab was developed last year in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department (MAE) at San Jose State University (SJSU).

Senior Design Project integrates both analytical and teamwork skills into the engineering curriculum at SJSU. The newly developed Mechanical Design Lab (referred to as the “Lab”) consists of computer systems that provide CAD and solids modeling, finite element analysis, design optimization, and rapid prototyping capabilities as well as access to the Internet for information. How this Mechanical Design Lab environment facilitates students to perform their senior design projects is currently being studied, and the preliminary assessment is presented in this paper.

Senior Project As part of the engineering curriculum in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at San Jose State University, all students majoring in mechanical engineering are required to enroll in the Senior Design Project course in their senior year. The goals of this course are to provide students with the opportunity to experience project management such as planning, budgeting, part procurement and scheduling, to appreciate teamwork and collaboration, and to learn the design process from concept generation to prototype fabrication and validatio n of the final design. The proposed design project must be practical in nature, yet challenging, and must be approved by a faculty advisor. Students work in a team of 3 to 4 throughout the academic year to find solutions that meet project design goal. The senior project starts in the Fall semester and the team is required to complete their project by the end of Spring semester.

The primary objective of the senior design project is to provide students with the opportunity to draw upon previous course work and to apply what they have learned to the design project. The secondary objective of the project is to simulate industrial reality by promoting teamwork through which communication and cooperative learning skills can be developed. The third objective of the project is to learn how to give an effective oral briefing in front of peers and local industrial representatives. The remaining of this paper will discuss the preliminary Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Yee, R. (2002, June), Significance Of Mechanical Design Laboratory On Student Projects, A Preliminary Study Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10480

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