Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
As individual engineering disciplines and applications mature, there is an increased need for multidisciplinary education and application competencies. As an example, a course on modern automotive vehicles must now incorporate electrical propulsion in addition to mechanical propulsion to reflect the current state of the art. Systems engineering provides a framework for teaching a multidisciplinary approach in the design and analysis of these complex systems. In this study, the hypothesis that exposure to, and retention of, systems engineering principles improves learning outcomes in an multidisciplinary graduate level course is assessed. Students enrolled in a hybrid electric vehicle powertrains course were exposed to systems engineering principles through a dedicated lecture focused on team coordination and management of complex engineering systems in the context of the team-based course capstone project. Students were encouraged to employ systems engineering principles across all aspects of the course (e.g. homework completion and exam preparation) with student collaboration a requirement for the project. Student surveys were completed immediately following the introductory lecture, which quantify students’ self-assessed increase in system engineering knowledge and perceived value of system engineering concepts/principles. A follow up survey given at the completion of the course then asked students to re-assess their responses to the initial survey and to report if they implemented systems engineering concepts/principles during work on the capstone project, labs, homeworks, and/or exam preparation for the course. An evaluation of applied systems engineering was conducted by comparing the capstone project scope from the course that included a systems engineering lecture and from the previous time the course was taught that did not include a systems engineering lecture. Results show an increase in students’ self-assessed system engineering knowledge and perceived value of system engineering concepts/principles after the introductory lecture and at the end of the course, as well as an increase in applied systems engineering in the capstone projects. The conclusion is that systems engineering principles such as requirements development, applying the V-model, and configuration management may be a key component for multidisciplinary courses to improve learning outcomes. Future work will focus on systems engineering implementation in other multidisciplinary courses as well as improved means of exposing and encouraging students to use systems engineering.
Asher, Z. D., & Ramo, N. L., & Bradley, T. H. (2018, June), The Use of Systems Engineering Principles to Improve Learning Outcomes in a Multidisciplinary Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31134
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