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The Development and Introduction of a New Bachelor of Science Degree in Robotics Engineering at Lawrence Technological University: A Review of the First Two Years

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Programs and Curricula

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1195.1 - 24.1195.22



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Paper Authors


Robert W. Fletcher Lawrence Technological University

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Robert W. Fletcher joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lawrence Technological University in the summer of 2003, after several years of continuous industrial research, product development and manufacturing experience.

Dr. Fletcher earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, in Seattle, Washington, a Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Systems from Lawrence Technological University, in Southfield, Michigan, and the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering focusing on Electrochemical Engineering, both from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

He teaches a number of alternative energy courses and is leading LTU's efforts to establish a full energy engineering program that addresses both alternative and renewable energy systems, as well as energy conservation and optimization of traditional energy systems. He also is the Director of the Alternative Energy program at Lawrence Tech and serves on the faculty advisory board for the Robotics Engineering Program at Lawrence Tech.

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The development and introduction of a new Bachelor of Science Degree in Robotics Engineering at ________ __________ University: A review of the first two yearsABSTRACT: Robotics engineering, long considered a composite of various engineeringdisciplines, has developed over the past two decades to where it now has identifiable areas oftechnical focus, as well as scientific engineering expertise and is now becoming a focuseddiscipline in its own right. We find that industry now specifically seeks engineering talentconcentrated in the robotics field possessing multidisciplinary skills and systems understanding.Also, students entering university engineering programs now often have developed great interestand understanding in robotics due to their participation in competition programs such as FirstRobotics and Robofest. Because of this clear need within industry and interest possessed byentering engineering students ________ _________ University developed a newmultidisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in robotics engineering. The degree was launchedin the fall of 2011 with direct support and input from _______ ____ math and computer science,electrical engineering and mechanical engineering departments. The robotics engineering degreeis currently administered through the ________ ____ mechanical engineering department. In thispaper the authors review the approach used to develop the overall objectives of the degree, thechallenges of curriculum development and its structure, and how to negotiate through thedifficult decisions required when selecting what the most critical multidisciplinary aspects ofeach of the three supporting departments without the risk of academic technical content dilution.Also reviewed in this paper are several other important aspects encountered in the developmentof this new degree such as benchmarking of other programs, the seeking, collection andincorporation of industry input and their partnerships, the approval of this new program throughthe university’s “new programs” approval process, the recruitment of current and new faculty tosupport the program, and strategy currently employed for addressing assessment and eventualABET accreditation of the program. Each of these aspects is a great challenge for any newprogram, but due to the complexity and the interdepartmental multidisciplinary requirements of arobotics engineering program great care and effort was made to assure that the foundationalaspects of the program such as projects, research, and student learning were all complementaryto current and future success of the program. The authors also discuss their vision for innovativeuse of emerging technologies for teaching within this program. The perspectives and impact ofmultidisciplinary designs, approaches, and experiences of the robotics engineering degreeprogram on constituents including students, faculty, administration, career services andemployers are also reviewed. Lastly, documented feedback from students is also provided thatgive their perspective on the program.

Fletcher, R. W. (2014, June), The Development and Introduction of a New Bachelor of Science Degree in Robotics Engineering at Lawrence Technological University: A Review of the First Two Years Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23128

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