June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1345.1 - 14.1345.14
Vehicle Dynamics as a Concentration: Capitalizing on Duration and Topical Breadth
A sequence of elective courses (a “concentration”) centered loosely around the subject of vehicle dynamics is herein proposed, and an example of its implementation is described in considerable detail. The component courses are selected so as to impart to the concentration, to the maximum practicable extent, two characteristics thought to be desirable: topical breadth, i.e., exposure to a range of engineering topics that relate to and intersect with vehicle dynamics, as well as a conscious effort to favor, instead of specialization, a broader interpretation of what constitutes a vehicle – inclusive of a variety of modes of transport; and, duration, i.e., lasting and repeated exposure to the central topic of vehicle dynamics at different stages of the curriculum.
It is demonstrated by means of course and curricular assessment that these characteristics are realizable, and that they impart several benefits, including: improved student retention, accessibility of the sequence to multiple engineering disciplines, flexibility to accommodate transfer students, reinforcement of engineering core subjects, and versatility of the engineering graduate.
In engineering curricula, vehicle dynamics is very often available as a single upper level elective course, giving the student a first exposure to the topic relatively late in the curriculum, and then ordinarily in the spirit of a specialized topic. As an alternative, it is proposed here that vehicle dynamics can serve well as a common thread running through a sequence of elective courses (often referred to as a "concentration" or "option"), each of these selected according to a philosophy that seeks to maximize two main characteristics of the concentration: topical breadth and duration.
Topical breadth is sought at several different levels: at the curricular level (a range of course topics), at the level delimiting vehicles (a range of vehicle categories), and at the level of methodologies (experiment, analysis, simulation, etc.).
Duration, secondly, is meant in the sense of repeated, and nearly continuous, exposure to vehicle dynamics examples at different stages of the curriculum, underclass through upperclass.
Rather than mere ends in themselves, this work postulates that topical breadth and duration will serve as means to more unambiguously beneficial ends, such as improved course enrollments and student retention, accessibility of the sequence to multiple engineering disciplines (with common elective courses between the disciplines), flexibility to accommodate transfer students, reinforcement of engineering core subjects, and versatility of the engineering graduate.
Hildebrand, R., & Mokhtar, W., & Bryan, S. (2009, June), Vehicle Dynamics As A Concentration: Capitalizing On Breadth And Duration Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5090
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