June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1560.1 - 12.1560.7
Using Regional Technical Conferences to Augment Aerospace Design Projects Abstract
Successfully integrating academic and industry players into the aerospace engineering classroom requires innovation and focus. The benefits, however, include the illustration of current aerospace design practices and tools. This paper describes the co-location of a regional technical symposium alongside a capstone aerospace design project. With this approach, industry has a focused interaction with students and faculty that significantly augments the traditional classroom experience. A case study on a tactical missile project is discussed in detail to illustrate how this benefits the student’s ability, “to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.” The symposium described was filmed making it available to use at another time or institution.
Learning outcomes for aerospace design students often stress the practical application of student knowledge. For example, aerospace programs are asked to show that students have “an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.” Another outcome states that students shall have “an ability to function on multi- disciplinary teams,” and “recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.” While faculty can teach these items to a certain degree, industry can enhance the level of these outcomes if ways can be found that effectively allow industry professionals to interact with faculty and students.
The capstone engineering design class at The University of Alabama in Huntsville has experimented with the integration of industry mentors in the classroom for the past 15 years. The mentors have been identified by specific disciplines related to the project, provided one lecture on the topic, and been available to advise the students during the project. Another team of industry mentors also serve the role of “customer” by developing a practical design specification and judging the teams in a design competition.
We have tried several approaches for bringing the industry mentors to the classroom. The first approach was to have one lecture per week in the classroom by each mentor. This worked well, but did not allow the material to be introduced early enough in a one-semester course to be effective. The second approach was to have multiple, simultaneous guest lectures during the first two weeks of class. This helped the schedule issue, but detracted from students orientation in other disciplines and seeing how the disciplines might interact in the design process. This paper presents a third alternative in which a one-day, professional, symposium was held to present and discuss focused topics about the design project. This approach has addressed both the infusion of the material at the beginning of the project and allowed participants a better understanding of the interactions of all the disciplines. Since the symposium was also presented as a professional
Frederick, R., & Frederick, R. (2007, June), Using Regional Technical Conferences To Augment Aerospace Design Projects Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2987
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