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Socially Responsible Design Projects In An Undergraduate Engineering Education Program

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

DEED Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1090.1 - 13.1090.13



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Paper Authors

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Amir Rezaei California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

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Mariappan Jawaharlal California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

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John Caffrey California State Polytechnic University

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Kyu-Jung Kim California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

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

I. Introduction Engineering and science education must take into account the social, economic and political contexts of their disciplines, help students develop new skills and interests and conduct undergraduate research. The engineering education of today must be motivating and interesting to get the students’ attention. In essence, engineering and science based education today aims to prepare students to be successful in a changing workplace, be competitive and resourceful with new ideas and knowledge in use and application of new technology that the computers and software available in higher education in engineering. Coursework and classrooms must be up- to-date, collaborative, active learning environments and filled with new technology and ideas. Engineering graduates should be exposed directly to the “real-world” problems1. The graduates should realize that a good portion of the engineering skills is dedicated to actually formulating the problem and asking the right questions, in addition to trying to find a solution. Today's industry demands a production-ready graduate, rather than a graduate who will still need some further training2. We need to change some of our classrooms into innovation centers for small scale projects and ask the students to be the innovators of such projects. Industry needs young researchers and innovators who can save them money from the day they start working for them. In responding to this need to reshape our curriculum and programs to provide an undergraduate education for living and working in the technologically dependent society of the twenty-first century, undergraduate research is an important issue that the higher education of today needs to give a careful attention. One factor that will promote undergraduate research and development of students’ process skills is the widespread use of multi-media and worldwide information networks. Internet is like a library that the old engineering graduates did not have available to them. Using the internet students can access new information and coursework, journal papers, conference proceedings, as well as interact with other students, researchers, practicing engineers and scientists in industry and government, and experts around the world. What is so called a “PC” has evolved in a serious computational and design tool for students in engineering. With the availability of fast computers and software for every subject, it is now possible to conduct high quality undergraduate research. Through the use of modern technology students will bring intuition and judgment for problems, which could not been possible in the old days. These tools can provide students the ability to analyze complex and practically applicable research projects in their undergraduate education. The new instructional technology is at the heart of what today’s entering college students are familiar and comfortable3-4.

II. Artificial Prosthetic Leg

Many people around the world currently require artificial leg prostheses. The design of a prosthetic leg requires knowledge in human anatomy as well as engineering. In the past two decades, prosthetic limb design has advanced significantly, with an emphasis on a very active lifestyle that includes sport activity as being one of the normal ones. As a result prosthetic technology has needed to improve to minimize subsequent injuries of the spine and other joints. The foot is required to simulate the shock generation and absorption properties of intact foot, store the energy from the early part of the stride and release it again at the point of take-off. Because of this, the requirement of the foot design is different and can be mathematically complex based on the chosen geometry, material and required performance. A wide range of different mechanical designs have been developed by number of companies and suppliers and

Rezaei, A., & Jawaharlal, M., & Caffrey, J., & Kim, K. (2008, June), Socially Responsible Design Projects In An Undergraduate Engineering Education Program Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4080

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