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Utilizing Team Building Skills In Engineering Projects

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Improving Communication Skills in ME

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1273.1 - 8.1273.13



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Paper Authors

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Norman Asper

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Bijan Sepahpour

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

Session 2166


Norman L. Asper and Bijan Sepahpour

The College of New Jersey Department of Engineering Ewing, New Jersey 08628-0718


Fundamental elements of Group Dynamics can be the basis for successful engineering projects. A tested process for selection of team members is presented. In case of national or regional competitions, the potential for success of a small program entering the competition for the first time may be significantly different than that of a larger institution which has entered the competition several times previously. The success rate of the projects depends heavily on successful team building. Interest and enthusiasm level of the team members plays an instrumental role on the success of the project. These elements may play an even larger role in the team's success than previous academic performances. The preliminary measure of the interest level of the potential members may be achieved by inviting underclassmen volunteers to participate in the current year's activities. Such members should be taken to the current year's competition to gain experience and to decide if they have the interest and motivation to bring a future project to a successful completion. The goals of the team must be set as early as possible. This will enable the team to identify the potential need for the addition of a member(s) early in the process. The role of the advisor of the team is examined. His/her role in the initial inception of the team is both critical and instrumental. The team must function in such a way that each member will benefit from all other members. Project management activities of the advisor must gradually be taken over by at least one of the members who have been selected/recruited based upon their management skills. The advisor must make certain that all members bring good group management skills to the project, and any deficiencies in these skills must be taught again. The success rate of the proposed approach may be measured by the performance record of three different group projects that have been on going in The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) over the past two decades.


Over the past twenty years, The College of New Jersey (formerly known as Trenton State College) has developed and prepared many vehicles for competitive events. In 1983 we built our first Mini-Baja vehicle as part of our Senior Design Project activity. We have had new groups of students building completely new and distinct vehicles for SAE’s “Mini Baja East” every year since 1983. In 1992 we started a second group building a solar/electric car to participate in NESEA’s “American Tour deSol”. These two groups were working side-by-side when in 1995

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Asper, N., & Sepahpour, B. (2003, June), Utilizing Team Building Skills In Engineering Projects Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11567

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: © 2003 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