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Teams and Team Building at Baylor University: Why Should We Do This and Where Should It Occur in the Curriculum?

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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

Teams, Teaching, Leadership, and Technical Communications in Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Kenneth W. Van Treuren Baylor University

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Ken Van Treuren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering at Baylor University. He received his B. S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and his M. S. in Engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. After serving as USAF pilot in KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft, he completed his DPhil in Engineering Sciences at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom and returned to the USAF Academy to teach heat transfer and propulsion systems. At Baylor University, he teaches courses in laboratory techniques, fluid mechanics, energy systems, and propulsion systems, as well as freshman engineering. Research interests include renewable energy to include small wind turbine aerodynamics and experimental convective heat transfer as applied to HVAC and gas turbine systems.

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Cynthia C. Fry Baylor University

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Cynthia C. Fry is a Senior Lecturer of Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science Fellows program at Baylor University. She co-leads the Engineering & Computer Science Faculty Development Seminars, and is a KEEN Fellow.

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Experience with teams is a desirable outcome with employers. Academic programs often have student teams accomplish course, design, and lab projects starting with the freshmen introductory courses and culminating with capstone senior design. Where do students learn about teams in the curriculum? How do they learn to be good team members? It seems the most pervasive approach to teams in higher education is a “sink or swim” attitude where teams are allowed to form on their own and work out any issues that arise. Little, if any, formal instruction on being a team member is given throughout the curriculum. Even less instruction is given on team leadership. This paper will discuss the rationale for teams in the academic environment and the use of teams at Baylor University. Also, the paper will examine how students view teams and approach the accomplishment of team projects. This will be contrasted with the view of teams held by faculty. Some suggestions will be made to make the team experience more manageable for faculty.

Van Treuren, K. W., & Fry, C. C. (2017, June), Teams and Team Building at Baylor University: Why Should We Do This and Where Should It Occur in the Curriculum? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28931

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