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The Contribution of Capstone Projects in Green/Renewable Energy Areas to Growth of the Engineering Curriculum in Global Sustainable Development

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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

Integrated Activities for Green Energy and Manufacturing Education

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Irina Nicoleta Ciobanescu Husanu Drexel University (Tech.)

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Irina Ciobanescu Husanu, Ph. D. is Assistant Clinical Professor with Drexel University, Engineering Technology program. Her area of expertise is in thermo-fluid sciences with applications in micro-combustion, fuel cells, green fuels and plasma assisted combustion. She has prior industrial experience in aerospace engineering that encompasses both theoretical analysis and experimental investigations such as designing and testing of propulsion systems including design and development of pilot testing facility, mechanical instrumentation, and industrial applications of aircraft engines. Also, in the past 10 years she gained experience in teaching ME and ET courses in both quality control and quality assurance areas as well as in thermal-fluid, energy conversion and mechanical areas from various levels of instruction and addressed to a broad spectrum of students, from freshmen to seniors, from high school graduates to adult learners. She also has extended experience in curriculum development. Dr Husanu developed laboratory activities for Measurement and Instrumentation course as well as for quality control undergraduate and graduate courses in ET Masters program. Also, she introduced the first experiential activity for Applied Mechanics courses. She is coordinator and advisor for capstone projects for Engineering Technology.

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Yalcin Ertekin Drexel University (Tech.)

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Dr. Ertekin received his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University. He received MS degree in Production Management from Istanbul University. After working for Chrysler Truck Manufacturing Company in Turkey as a project engineer, he received dual MS degrees in engineering management and mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (MS&T), formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla. He worked for Toyota Motor Corporation as a quality assurance engineer for two years and lived in Toyota City, Japan. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MS&T in 1999 while he worked as a quality engineer for Lumbee Enterprises in St. Louis, Missouri. His first teaching position was at the architectural and manufacturing Sciences department of Western Kentucky University. He was a faculty at Trine University teaching mainly graduate courses as well as undergraduate courses in engineering technology and mechanical engineering departments. He is currently teaching in Engineering Technology Program at Drexel University. His area of expertise is in CAD/CAM, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining, rapid prototyping and quality control. His research interest includes sensor based condition monitoring of CNC machining, machine tool accuracy characterization and enhancement, non-invasive surgical tool design, reverse engineering and bio materials.

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Richard Chiou Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Dr. Richard Chiou is Associate Professor within the Engineering Technology Department at Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background is in manufacturing with an emphasis on mechatronics. In addition to his many years of industrial experience, he has taught many different engineering and technology courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. His tremendous research experience in manufacturing includes environmentally conscious manufacturing, Internet based robotics, and Web based quality. In the past years, he has been involved in sustainable manufacturing for maximizing energy and material recovery while minimizing environmental impact.

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Michael G. Mauk Drexel University

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Michael Mauk is Assistant Professor in Drexel University's Engineering Technology program.

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The Contribution of Capstone Projects in Green / Renewable Energy Areas to Growth of the Engineering Curriculum in Global Sustainable Development

Abstract The current global considerations regarding sustainable energy use and generation combined with the need of a well-rounded and skilled workforce able to serve a global sustainable industry leads inevitably to new trends and strategic areas in engineering education fields. Our task as educators in the engineering realm is to prepare students to be more effective in a global context as well as to be able to respond to today’s challenges, giving them the essential competencies for global engineering work.

Our Engineering Technology program offers a combined electrical and mechanical engineering technology major, filling in the gap between the industry demand and the current educational majors offerings in the area and nationwide. During past years, responding to global educational and industry demands, our curricula enhanced with several courses related to renewable energy, energy conversion, green energy manufacturing and sustainability. As a result of this enhancement we had an afflux of capstone project topics in the green/renewable energy area reaching a maximum this year when all of our capstone topics are related directly to green and sustainable energy sources or sustainable manufacturing. As a consequence, our curricula moved towards educating students in controversial topics such as global warming, energy security, air pollution, ecological damage, reducing the carbon footprint and green-house emissions. Several new courses have been developed during past two years, further we have taken steps to improve the existing curricula.

The paper aims to present the contribution of several capstone projects developed in the past five years by our students to the growth of the engineering technology curricula in our university. The main aspects presented are related to the integrative approach in green energy harvesting and sustainability, with clear assessment of student-led projects developed during past AYs and how they contributed directly to development of leadership skills along with untamed creativity. While a series of projects are strictly related to energy harvesting, serving as models of energy efficiency and sustainable energy power transmission, others are related to sustainable green energy manufacturing. A technical description of the projects along with clear connections between projects and curriculum development will be described in detail.

Students are continuously and actively involved in self-directed learning to find sustainable solutions to design problems, to recognize that they are part of a global community. Also, these projects served as platforms for course learning modules to enhance existing curricula as well as to develop new courses that ultimately led to a new minor in Green and Sustainable Energy in our department. This paper will present the contribution of all these projects to the new developments, and to building our modern curricula, including assessment, module spin-offs and continuous improvement based on student and faculty feedback.

Ciobanescu Husanu, I. N., & Ertekin, Y., & Chiou, R., & Mauk, M. G. (2017, June), The Contribution of Capstone Projects in Green/Renewable Energy Areas to Growth of the Engineering Curriculum in Global Sustainable Development Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28951

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