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The Integrated Mechanical Engineering Curriculum At The Universite De Sherbrooke

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1160.1 - 7.1160.12



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Paper Authors

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Proulx Denis

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Martin Brouillette

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Jean Nicolas

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Charron François

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

Main Menu Session 1566

The integrated mechanical engineering curriculum at the Université de Sherbrooke

Martin Brouillette, Jean Nicolas, François Charron, Denis Proulx

Department of Mechanical Engineering Université de Sherbrooke Sherbrooke (Québec) Canada J1K 2R1

Since 1996, the School of Engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke has been offering a totally renovated mechanical engineering curriculum. Starting from scratch, this new curriculum is based on a competency development approach which is aimed at educating engineers beyond knowledge transfer through the development of student know-how and know-how-to-be (i.e., attitudes). This is achieved via four major program thrusts, which are: integrating knowledge, learning in an engineering context, promoting technical and personal achievement and increasing student responsibilities. As salient programmatic features, this curriculum incorporates, among others: design from day 1, a closely integrated sequence of courses within a semester and from one semester to the next, engineering integration semester projects and a large-scale capstone design activity. In addition to presenting a broad overview of this curriculum, the paper focuses on the first semester to illustrate the “mechanics” of making such a wide ranging reform work.

1 Background

The history of the engineering profession has been characterized by numerous changes related to its nature and role, and this has followed closely the global evolution of society1. As essential links in the economic and social progress of modern societies, engineers always had to adapt to the current socio-economic context. And at the beginning of the third millenium, the engineering profession is thus probably the one currently subjected to the most profound and rapid changes.

Up to about twenty years ago, engineers were essentially hired for their technical skills. This has changed, however, and engineers have suddenly become multifunctional professionals responsible for achieving the “impossible trilogy” of producing better products more rapidly at lower costs. In addition to analysis skills, engineers now must ideally be designers and innovators, capable of integrating a variety of knowledge bases and rapidly changing technologies; they must also be able to communicate effectively and work in a team environment.

Although these changes in the practice of engineering are well known and documented, engineering education has lagged behind this revolution. In Canada, engineering education has

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Denis, P., & Brouillette, M., & Nicolas, J., & François, C. (2002, June), The Integrated Mechanical Engineering Curriculum At The Universite De Sherbrooke Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11047

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