June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1548.1 - 12.1548.14
Using Fluid Mechanics Research Examples to Enhance and Stimulate Undergraduate Engineering Education
Approximately 62% of the undergraduate students who graduated in 2000 with an engineering B.S. in the United States received their degree from Research I and II institutions. 1 Although these universities successfully recruit their undergraduates by proudly displaying their research infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, a vast majority of these students graduate without ever being exposed to these assets. Even those students who are introduced to research often remain oblivious to the rich research diversity and the multi-disciplinary culture of engineering. This is an increasingly important concern because the future engineer is expected to adapt to a varying and continuously evolving environment while simultaneously being able to operate outside the narrow limits of one discipline, crossing over boundaries and interfacing between different fields. In recent years, the Boyer Commission,1 the National Science Foundation,2 the American Association for the Advancement of Science,3 and the National Research Council4 have urged universities to make “research-based learning the standard” for undergraduate education. Participation in research deepens a student’s understanding and promotes the communication and teamwork needed to solve complex problems. Enabling students to be part of the intellectual process and instills in them a sense of fulfillment and imparts life-long benefits. A report, released on June 2005 by the National Academy of Engineering, further supports these arguments.5 The report considered current engineering education, inadequate to prepare future engineers and suggested that BS graduates should be considered engineers in training and an MS should be a professional degree. This finding illustrates the need at the undergraduate level for “research-based learning” which is inherent in the graduate level but almost non-existent in the undergraduate level.
To achieve this research-based learning at the undergraduate level, a new educational paradigm is needed that, demands a commitment to the intellectual growth of individual students, redefines the role of engineering in society, and stimulates students to pursue careers in engineering and research. These goals can be accomplished by integrating research into engineering education, serving to increase recruitment and retention and enabling future engineers to become society leaders.
To pursue these goals, we initiated an effort to translate state-of-the-art multidisciplinary research examples and accomplishments to the classroom. More specifically, in our previous conference paper to ASEE last year, we presented the development of a research transfer model for translating state-of-the-art fluid mechanics and biofluids research into the engineering education of students from the high school level to freshmen engineers. The model was implemented through a series of presentations and hands-on exercises. This previous effort showed much promise as a model for transferring engineering research to the high school and freshmen levels.
Pierrakos, O., & Charonko, J., & Williams, A., & Karri, S., & Stewart, K., & Vlachos, P. (2007, June), Using Fluid Mechanics Research Examples To Enhance And Stimulate Undergraduate Engineering Education: Part Ii Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2637
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