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Undergraduate Research As A Motivation For Attending Graduate School

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Graduate Student Experiences

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

12.1509.1 - 12.1509.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/1814

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

biography

Nihad Dukhan University of Detroit Mercy

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Nihad Dukhan is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he teaches courses in heat transfer, thermodynamics and energy systems. His ongoing pedagogical interests include developing undergraduate research programs, service-learning programs, and assessing their impact on students’ soft skills. His technical research areas are advanced cooling technologies for high-power devices. Dr. Dukhan earned his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo.

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biography

Michael Jenkins University of Detroit Mercy

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Michael G. Jenkins is chair and professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Detroit Mercy where is specializes in materials, mechanics of materials, machine design and reliability/probability. He has been involved in pedagogy in higher education for the past 15 years and test engineering and R&D activities for the past 25 years. His post PhD positions include 12 years at University of Washington in Seattle, 5 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and 1 year as a postdoctoral invited researcher at the University of Tokyo. Prior to his PhD he worked at PACCAR Technical Center for 2.5 years. He has authored or co-authored over 75 archival publications, over 100 proceedings publications, and over 250 presentations. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Washington-Seattle; a MSME from Purdue University and a BSME from Marquette University.

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

Undergraduate Research as a Motivation for Attending Graduate School

Abstract There is a clear problem at the university level in terms of directing students toward graduate schools. This problem is further complicated by the declining number of international graduate students’ enrollment in U.S. universities, who usually account for a high percentage of all graduate engineering students. Due to the more-restrictive visa policies of the government put in place immediately after September 11, 2001, the perception among overseas students is that getting a U.S. visa is virtually impossible. As a result, the number of foreign students applying to American universities continues to decline dramatically. Such decline will certainly have long-term economic implications.

It is therefore critical to increase the enrollment of U.S. students in graduate schools through motivation. From the standpoint of the individual, motivation is an internal state that leads to the pursuit of certain objectives. Personal motivation affects the initiation, direction intensity and persistence of efforts.

Undergraduate engineering research has gained significant popularity in many engineering schools in the past few years. Engineering research includes the aspect of pursuing a scientific topic, a hypothesis or an idea in a systematic rigorous fashion. This requires critical thinking in order to answer questions and to produce new and original knowledge. Another aspect of research is describing the intellectual activity and communicating the new knowledge both orally and in writing.

This paper describes a research program that was conducted by fourteen undergraduate mechanical engineering students during the past three and a half years; and it also assesses the motivation of the students toward graduate studies using a survey was administered to the students. The students agreed that the research experience developed their scientific research skills and their data collection, documentation and dissemination abilities and taught them the logic of an engineering conference and journal articles. They also reported that the research experience in general served as an introduction/orientation for what to be expected at the graduate level research, and that it was an excellent motivation for directing them toward graduate school. They also felt that the research training and preparation were not encountered in other engineering courses.

1. Introduction

Recent trends point at the continued decline of the number of students attending graduate schools in the different engineering disciplines. There are two prime reasons for this. The first has to do with motivating and directing undergraduate engineering students to graduate programs. Grander [1] says: “There is a problem at the university level in terms of directing students into graduate school.” The word motivation, according to [2] refers to two different but related ideas. From the standpoint of the individual, motivation is an internal state that leads to the pursuit of certain objectives. Personal motivation affects the initiation, direction intensity and persistence of efforts. From the standpoint of the teacher, motivation is the process of getting the

Dukhan, N., & Jenkins, M. (2007, June), Undergraduate Research As A Motivation For Attending Graduate School Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1814

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015