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Student Projects: Hands On Experience With Mechanical Engineering Technology

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Mechanical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1161.1 - 10.1161.7



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Paper Authors

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Saeed Foroudastan

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

Session 1348

Student Projects: Hands-on Experience with Mechanical Engineering Technology

Saeed D. Foroudastan, Ian D. Campbell Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies Department Middle Tennessee State University


For several years, the Engineering Technology Department (ETD) at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) has sponsored a variety of student led competition vehicle programs. These programs have enjoyed considerable success in competitions around the country, and have spawned a thriving research community at MTSU, culminating with the foundation of the Experimental Vehicles Program (EVP) at MTSU during the summer of 2004.

The vehicle projects sponsored by EVP, including a Solar Vehicle, Solar Boat, Formula car, Mini Baja, and a human powered Moon Buggy, give engineering technology students invaluable experience solving real world engineering problems. The vehicle teams themselves provide a support network that introduces younger students to more experienced older students who are glad to share the hard won knowledge they have gained, and are often willing to help with homework.

This paper illustrates the effectiveness of extra-curricular student led projects in educating students for the challenges they will face on the job. EVP, along with other ETD sponsored projects, supplement the standard Mechanical Engineering Technology curriculum at MTSU by:

• Attracting new and undeclared students to the Engineering Technology Department and the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) concentration • Increasing retention rates among first year MET students • Challenging those students to apply their classroom skills in designing and building vehicles for national and international competitions • Encouraging independent research into specific problems associated with vehicle design and construction • Fostering effective communication, leadership, and project management skills


The Engineering Technology Department at MTSU has recognized the importance of student projects 1 in providing a well-rounded engineering technology education. Often, engineering technology students have difficulty finding immediate applications for abstract class topics,

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Foroudastan, S. (2005, June), Student Projects: Hands On Experience With Mechanical Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15057

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