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Whom Are We Serving? An Exploration of Student Demographics in a Large Engineering Design Projects Ecosystem

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Best In DEED

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35511

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35511

Download Count

102

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Paper Authors

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David A. Copp University of California, Irvine Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5206-5223

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David A. Copp received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Teaching at the University of California, Irvine in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Prior to joining UCI, he was a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories and an adjunct faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. His broad research interests include engineering education, as well as control and optimization of nonlinear and hybrid systems with applications to power and energy systems, multi-agent systems, robotics, and biomedicine. He is a recipient of UCSB's Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation Best PhD Thesis award.

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Alejandra Hormaza Mejia University of California, Irvine Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2761-1373

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Alejandra Hormaza Mejia is a PhD student in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, Irvine. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering and M.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include renewable energy systems, renewable fuels, and equity and diversity in engineering education. She aspires to be an engineering professor in the future!

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Mark E. Walter University of California, Irvine

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Dr. Walter received his PhD in Applied Mechanics from Caltech. He spent a year as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow doing materials science research at the Universitaet Karlsruhe. He joined the Ohio State University in January of 1997 and spent 17 years there running a research group, teaching mechanics and design classes, and advising two US Department of Energy solar decathlon teams. Dr. Walter's research was focused on understanding deformation and failure mechanisms at the micro-scale. In 1998 he received a NSF CAREER award to study thermal barrier coatings and was later active in studying durability of solid oxide fuel cell materials. After one year at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Holzkirchen, Germany, in July of 2015, Dr. Walter joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. At UCI Dr. Walter teaches regular MAE classes and helps to manage the senior projects program.

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Natascha Trellinger Buswell University of California, Irvine Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8503-5787

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Natascha Trellinger Buswell is an assistant professor of teaching in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, Irvine. She earned her B.S. in aerospace engineering at Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in engineering education in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is particularly interested in teaching conceptions and methods and graduate level engineering education.

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Abstract

Project-based learning is a popular way for students to gain hands-on experience in engineering curriculums. Curriculum in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, allows students to participate in a variety of engineering design projects as early as the second quarter of their freshman year through their senior year. The projects ecosystem typically serves around 400 students, with the majority in mechanical engineering. These projects are largely student organized and run with the support of faculty advisors, and the number of students on each project varies from three students to over 100. With so much variability in the projects, we aim to better understand the differences in student experiences in our projects ecosystem. In particular, we comparatively study the experiences of low income, first generation, transfer, female, and underrepresented minority students. We similarly study the experiences of students on teams that have the goal of participating in a national or international competition versus those of students on non-competition teams. Using survey data from students in the project ecosystem, paired with institutional data on student demographics, we conduct an exploratory analysis to understand whom our projects ecosystem is serving.

Copp, D. A., & Hormaza Mejia, A., & Walter, M. E., & Buswell, N. T. (2020, June), Whom Are We Serving? An Exploration of Student Demographics in a Large Engineering Design Projects Ecosystem Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35511

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