June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1290.1 - 12.1290.15
SOPHOMORE YEAR IN CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AT ROWAN UNIVERSITY: INTEGRATION OF COMMUNICATION, MECHANICS AND DESIGN
Engineering clinics are a sequence of project-based learning (PBL) courses taken every semester by all engineering students at Rowan University. The purpose of these courses is to prepare students for aspects of engineering practice, such as solving open-ended problems and contributing to multi-disciplinary teams, which are difficult to teach via traditional blackboard courses. The two four-credit clinics offered during sophomore year (one each semester) have a specific focus on design and communication and are team taught by Engineering and Communication faculty. In these courses, students design teams work on a series of three increasingly complex design projects. This paper describes the sequence of design projects and highlights the integration of communication, and the reinforcement of concepts from traditional mechanics courses (statics, dynamics and solid mechanics) that the students also take during sophomore year. Available assessment data, as well as some ongoing challenges in running multi- disciplinary, PBL-based design courses are discussed.
In 2005, Friedman published The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, where he describes the rapidly changing and highly competitive marketplace that exists today1. Friedman makes a strong case for the need to better prepare for this marketplace. However, the engineering and engineering education communities were aware of Friedman’s “Flat World” well before the book was published. In the 1990’s, it had been observed that engineering graduates needed improvement in real-world skills such as design, teamwork, and communication, as well as a better understanding of how engineering projects fit into bigger pictures2,3. These skills are significantly different from the analytical capabilities that had been traditionally emphasized by engineering curriculum4. The dichotomy between the needs of industry and the emphasis of engineering curriculum led to implementation of the ABET 2000 A-K criteria5, which require engineering programs to address many of the real-world needs that have since been identified by Friedman. The new ABET criteria are leading to increased significance of communication and multidisciplinary design in engineering curriculum throughout the United States.
The College of Engineering at Rowan University6, which graduated its first class in 2000, offers Chemical (ChE), Civil and Environmental (CEE), Electrical and Computer (ECE) and Mechanical (ME) Engineering majors. The hallmark of the engineering program at Rowan University is the multi-disciplinary and project-based engineering clinics sequence7 which covers all eight semesters of the student’s undergraduate curriculum. A typical blackboard and textbook course can be very effective as teaching problem solving
Riddell, W., & Constans, E., & Dahm, K., & Courtney, J., & Harvey, R., & Jansson, P. M., & von Lockette, P. (2007, June), Sophomore Year In Civil And Environmental Engineering At Rowan University: Integration Of Communication, Mechanics And Design Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2151
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