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What’s Standard? Industry Application versus University Education of Engineering Standards

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Fifty Shades of Grey Literature

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1732.1 - 26.1732.13



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Paper Authors


Chelsea Leachman Washington State University

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Chelsea Leachman is the engineering librarian at Washington State University. She obtained here Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2011. She has a background in science and engineering. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a minor in geology from the University of Idaho 2007.

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Charles Pezeshki Washington State University

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Charles (Chuck) Pezeshki is the Director of the Industrial Design Clinic in the School of MME at Washington State University. The Industrial Design Clinic is the primary capstone vehicle for the School and focuses on industrially sponsored projects with hard deliverables that students must complete for graduation.

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What’s Standard? Industry Application versus University Education of Engineering StandardsABET requires engineering students use design standards produced by professional societiesduring their senior year to prepare for life after graduation. However, no standard approach foreducational content development on the use of standards is available and an information deficitexists on how application of these standards differs between industry and academia. To addressthis need, the first part of our analysis focuses on the use of standards in a capstone mechanicalengineering senior design course, a class that is ubiquitous in engineering programs in the UnitedStates. The capstone senior design course partners with industry sponsors to produce a productfor implementation at the end of a sixteen week semester. An early stage in the design process isthe identification of standards applicable to the project. Students are given instruction on findingand locating standards at the library and also through outside sources. Students are asked to seekout standards “at will” rather than being required by the project narrative and record thestandards utilized in the final design report. The second part of our analysis surveys the use andorganization of standards by the industry sponsors of the design course irrespective of thesponsored projects. The data collected includes how company sponsors acquire standards,utilization rate, and of particular interest is the organization of standards that are purchased forfuture use. After identifying synergies between the academic and industrial approaches, wepropose a foundation of engineering standards education based in the contextual learningcurriculum. Finally, we provided recommendations for engineering standards literacy toreinforce the need for life-long learning skills.

Leachman, C., & Pezeshki, C. (2015, June), What’s Standard? Industry Application versus University Education of Engineering Standards Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25068

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