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Systems Engineering Educational Strategies: Incorporating Active Learning with a Healthcare Case Study

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Systems Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

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Paper Authors


Sandy L. Furterer University of Datyon

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Dr. Sandy Furterer is an Associate Professor at the University of Dayton, in the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology. She recently came from industry as a VP of Process Transformation for Park National Bank in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Furterer received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with a specialization in Quality Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2004. She received an MBA from Xavier University, and a Bachelor and Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Furterer has over 25 years of experience in business process and quality improvements. She is an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Quality Engineer, an ASQ fellow, and a certified Master Black Belt.
Dr. Furterer is an author or co-author of 4 reference textbooks on Lean Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma and Lean Systems, including her latest book: Lean Six Sigma Case Studies in the Healthcare Enterprise by Springer publishing in 2014.

Dr. Furterer is an author or co-author of 7 refereed journal articles, and 23 refereed conference proceedings publications on process modeling, lean six sigma, process improvement and engineering education. She has 76 conference presentations on operational excellence, process improvement, lean six sigma, business process architecture, engineering education.

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Over the last nearly 100 years, Systems Engineering principles, methods and tools evolved from several engineering related disciplines. The university’s Department of Engineering Management, Systems, and Technology, teaches their Management of Engineering Systems course, modeled on the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK). This body of knowledge is wiki based, making it easy to navigate. The SEBok is designed to provide an overview of the material, with multiple references for accessing additional content and depth of material. However, the SEBoK is not designed for Masters students, who have little to no background in the SEBoK to easily learn or apply the material. The author has incorporated multiple educational strategies into a Systems Engineering course including: 1) information-providing lectures, 2) inquiry-oriented case studies, 3) active or performance-based active learning exercises, 4) cooperative team-based system design, 5) creativity-inducing methods based application of systems engineering tools. Central to several of the strategies was to adapt a healthcare case study from the author’s prior process and systems improvement work experience, to guide the students to better understand, synthesize and apply systems engineering. The case study supports the inquiry-oriented, active learning and case study pedagogies, helping students to learn by seeing examples of the application of the materials to real-world problems. In this paper, we will describe some of the tools and activities that were used to design a women’s healthcare center for providing healthcare services in a one-stop, spa-like environment. The case study was used to help students learn and apply systems engineering tools and methods.

Furterer, S. L. (2017, June), Systems Engineering Educational Strategies: Incorporating Active Learning with a Healthcare Case Study Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28902

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