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Teaching And Assessment Experiences Of An Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Design Course

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Teaching Mechanical Systems: What's New

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1166.1 - 15.1166.14



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Paper Authors

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Raghu Echempati Kettering University

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Richard Dippery Kettering University

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



Teaching and learning a fundamental core course such as Mechanical Engineering Design (or Machine Design) continues to be fun but a challenging task for many instructors, as well as for students. It certainly helps if an instructor has both hands on and/or professional consulting experience to share their rich and real-life knowledge to keep the students engaged in a classroom and to add value to the course. A typical Machine Design course truly integrates the core concepts taught in Linear Algebra, Statics and Mechanics of Materials courses to a great extent that no other course sequence exists in an undergraduate engineering curriculum, the only exception could be a Capstone Design course that usually requires many other pre-requisites in order to give a truly multi-disciplinary design experience. Use of some of the math and/or CAE tools as a part of a machine design course is believed to help performing parametric studies and to evolve alternative designs. Due to its nature, students should be taught to appreciate open- endedness and ambiguity of design requirements that are inherent in a typical machine design course. These are some of the attributes for innovation and creativity which help them develop a mindset for possible entrepreneurship. It takes a mechanical engineering graduate a long way to practice professional engineering if he/she develops strong engineering and problems solving skills with a different mindset. Machine Design is a typical course that gives this experience.

Based on many years of teaching this course, in this paper, the authors present the assessment of course learning objectives (CLOs) and how they are linked to direct assessment of homework, class work, exams and design project outcomes. The CLOs are also mapped with the ABET Program Outcomes. This being a core course it is offered every quarter at Kettering University. The results are presented in the form of charts and tables. The paper concludes with some observations and recommendations as a part of continuous improvement strategy.

Introduction and Literature

This section outlines a brief literature review and the teaching and assessment experiences of machine design course taught at Kettering University. Based on the focused idea of using the assessment tools, preliminary evaluation and assessment procedure is suggested. There are numerous studies conducted in this direction by many researchers, for example, papers presented in ASEE-IEEE Conferences and the ASEE Journals. Mott1 outlined the advantages of employing industry-standard calculation software within undergraduate curricula on mechanical design. Along similar lines, Echempati, et al2 discussed an assessment of how math and CAE software tools enhances the understanding of parametric study in machine design. Coffman3, et al described how inclusion of a tool based finite element analysis helps in a design course. There are several textbooks4-7 that helps students understand the basic course material in a typical machine design. Chapra’s book on Numerical Analysis and MatLab8 can be used in a machine design final project.

Echempati, R., & Dippery, R. (2010, June), Teaching And Assessment Experiences Of An Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16261

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