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The GasDay Project

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

How Are We Preparing Our Students for the 21st Century Workforce?

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

25.1301.1 - 25.1301.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22058

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

biography

Ronald H. Brown Marquette University

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Dr. Ronald H. Brown is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Marquette University and the founding Director of Marquette University’s GasDay Project. Dr. Brown’s research is in system modeling, identification, prediction, optimization, and control. The applications of his research has been focused on natural gas distribution and transmission since 1993, when the GasDay Project was founded as a means to connect students with the many industrial partners who support the lab’s work. Over the course of the project he has worked with more than 150 undergraduate students from four colleges at Marquette directly participating in the project, and many more who have participated through classroom assignments that have “borrowed” project ideas from GasDay. He is a frequent presenter at energy industry meetings and consultant to many energy companies looking for guidance in planning for daily and peak load conditions.

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Thomas F. Quinn Marquette University

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Thomas Quinn is the Director of Business Operations for Marquette University’s GasDay Project and Adjunct Associate Professor of electrical and computer engineering at Marquette. He develops and manages the GasDay Project’s partnerships with the many energy companies across the U.S. that sponsor the project’s research and license its software products. He graduated with a B.S. in computer science from Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wis.) and an M.S. in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.). Prior to joining Marquette University, he was the Director of the Emerging Technologies Group at Compuware Corporation and Vice President for Business Development at the Gecko Group. Quinn serves on the Executive and Academic committees for the Green Energy Summit, an annual international conference on sustainable energy innovation and investment.

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George Corliss Marquette University

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George Corliss is professor of electrical and computer engineering at Marquette University and Senior Scientist of the GasDay Project. He received his B.A. in mathematics for the College of Wooster (Ohio) and his Ph.D. in mathematics from Michigan State University. He has taught and worked at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Argonne National Laboratory, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Compuware Corp., and Marquette University, as well as in several industrial and consulting positions. His research interests include scientific computation and mathematical modeling, guaranteed enclosures of the solutions of ordinary differential equations, industrial applications of mathematics and scientific computation, numerical optimization, automatic differentiation, and software engineering. He teaches courses in engineering design, computer architecture, operating systems, database design, and software engineering.

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Jay R. Goldberg Marquette University

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Jay Goldberg, Ph.D., P.E., is Director of the healthcare technologies management program at Marquette University and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and is Associate Professor of biomedical engineering and the Lafferty Professor of engineering at Marquette University. He teaches courses involving design and new product development. Goldberg graduated with a B.S. in general engineering from the University of Illinois and a M.S. in bioengineering from the University of Michigan. He has a master’s degree in engineering management and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He holds six patents for urological medical devices and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin. He also serves as Chairman of the subcommittee on urological devices and materials of the American Society for Testing and Materials. Before moving into academia, Goldberg was Director of technology and quality assurance for Milestone Scientific, Inc. (Deerfield, Ill.), a start-up dental product company. He is the Co-creator of the Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Award national student design competition and writes a column on design courses for IEEE Pulse Magazine.

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Mark Nagurka Marquette University

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Mark Nagurka is an Associate Professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering and the Lafferty Professor of engineering at Marquette University. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT. Prior to joining Marquette, he taught at Carnegie Mellon. Nagurka is a dedicated educator and active researcher with interests in mechatronics, system dynamics and design, human-machine interaction, and engineering pedagogy. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of ASME, and a former Fulbright Scholar.

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Abstract

The GasDay Project: A Learning Laboratory in a Functioning BusinessThe GasDay Project is a research activity that has been developing natural gas demandforecasting models since 1993. It is a working software business that provides undergraduate andgraduate students from different disciplines the opportunity to apply what they have learned inthe classroom toward creating and licensing a product that solves a real-world problem.Multidisciplinary teams of engineering, mathematics, computer science, and business studentsproduce an engineered software product licensed by natural gas utilities throughout the UnitedStates. The utilities use GasDay to forecast the total daily natural gas demand of their customers.Collectively, GasDay installations at U.S. utilities forecast over 20% of the nation’s daily naturalgas demand.A typical student starts working for the GasDay Project as a freshman or sophomoreundergraduate student, or as a new graduate student. Undergraduate students have limitedbackground and experience to bring to the project, although often they are able to spend three orfour years working on the team. Graduate students usually have a richer background. Most aremaster’s degree students and have only a two-year career with GasDay. Everyone begins atabout the same level of ability, with some classroom knowledge, but little work experience.The GasDay Project is an extracurricular activity that incorporates several student-centeredlearning methods including active, collaborative, and project-based learning. It provides studentswith experiential learning opportunities similar to those associated with co-op, internship, andresearch experiences. GasDay functions as a learning laboratory within a commercial entity.Students learn about entrepreneurship, teamwork, and dealing with customers; through this theydevelop skills not normally gained through classroom activities. The GasDay Project preparesstudents for successful careers by helping them acquire skills needed in the workplace.This paper will describe the pedagogical approaches to student learning employed by theGasDay Project as well as the educational benefits to students including 1) hands-on learning ina business setting with real-world consequences for successes and failures, 2) direct contact withcustomers and industrial partners, 3) experience with project management and the importance ofworking in a setting with competing priorities that must be met with a fixed set of resources, and4) knowledge of how research is conducted and how to take it from the laboratory to themarketplace. Assessment methods and results will also be addressed.

Brown, R. H., & Quinn, T. F., & Corliss, G., & Goldberg, J. R., & Nagurka, M. (2012, June), The GasDay Project Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/22058

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