New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Semester-long advanced individual studies in engineering are dictated by the interest of the student and his or her advisor. Definitively, the topics of these studies push the student to the edges of the student’s knowledge and are often quite specific in scope. The exploration of specific topics necessarily requires the student to seek out specialized knowledge exceeding the depth and/or breadth of previous course work. This exploration can be distracting to the intent of learning about the engineering design process if rushed. How best, then, can the student, who is limited in time, adequately explore the science behind a problem involving a complex system before applying that knowledge to an informed, engineered design? One approach is to link the student’s individual study to group project work in a follow-on senior design course. This linkage extends the design cycle to one academic year within the curriculum framework and allows: 1) students to optimize their time and efforts in thoroughly understanding the science behind a problem before continuing in the design process; 2) adequate time for model building, testing, and iteration; 3) a more informed student population to feed technical discourse between peers and thus spawn professional growth. This paper qualitatively explores the costs and benefits of marrying an advanced individual study in horse waste as a biodigester feedstock with a central biodigester design project in a follow-on senior design course. Teaching design in this way allows students to more productively focus on learning hands-on the design process as opposed to being distracted by their knowledge shortfalls for the given study topic.
Zgonc, D. C., & Dacunto, P., & Ezerins, E. A., & Combs, D. J. A., & Palmer, J. N. (2016, June), The Nexus of Science and Engineering: Structuring Individual Studies to Inform Senior Design Projects Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26992
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