June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Multidisciplinary Engineering and Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
24.1370.1 - 24.1370.11
The authors (professors of mechanical engineering, physics, and professional communication)collaboratively designed and taught an intensive 10-week summer multidisciplinary design program inwhich undergraduate engineering and science students earned credit for three courses by tackling theNational Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge to produce solar energy economically.Working in teams students designed, built, tested, and communicated an inexpensive and locallymanufacturable system that utilized solar energy for individuals in Kenya. The program has attractedpositive media coverage from both general audience and engineering education forums: localnewspaper and television stories, U.S. News and World Report, and ASEE First Bell. Due to the successof this pilot program, we seek to extract the elements that led to the fruitful collaboration for both thestudents and the faculty. Using as a framework Borrego and Newswander’s “Characteristics ofSuccessful Cross-disciplinary Engineering Education Collaborations,” we will provide parallelethnographies to reflect on our own multidisciplinary experiences regarding course development, teamteaching, student outcome evaluation, and professional development. The reflections will focus on theprocess and motivation for the collaboration, methods for selecting problem and course theme,workload distribution, and our own perceptions of the quality and value from the learning experience aswell as rewards. We will then analyze the conclusions from each of our disciplinary perspectives andshare with the community of engineering educators our ideas regarding why the program was a success.
Watt, A., & Kirkpatrick, S., & Bernal, A. (2014, June), What's in the Soup? Auto-ethnograhies from an Engineer, a Physicist, and an English Professor Regarding a Successful Multidisciplinary Grand Challenge Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23303
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