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Workshops for Building the Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Education Community

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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

Mechatronics and Robotics II

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35710

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/35710

Download Count

81

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Paper Authors

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Michael A. Gennert Worcester Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3170-2190

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Michael A. Gennert is Professor of Robotics Engineering, CS, and ECE at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he leads the WPI Humanoid Robotics Laboratory and was Founding Director of the Robotics Engineering Program. He has worked at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the University of California Riverside, PAR Technology Corporation, and General Electric. He received the S.B. in CS, S.B. in EE, and S.M. in EECS in 1980 and the Sc.D. in EECS in 1987 from MIT. Dr. Gennert's research interests include robotics, computer vision, and image processing, with ongoing projects in humanoid robotics, robot navigation and guidance, biomedical image processing, and stereo and motion vision. He led WPI teams in the DARPA Robotics Challenge and NASA Space Robotics Challenge and is author or co-author of over 100 papers. His research has been supported by DARPA, NASA, NIH, NSF, and industry. He is a member of Sigma Xi, and a senior member of IEEE and ACM.

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Nima Lotfi Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

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Nima Lotfi received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran, in 2006, his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2010, and his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO, USA, in 2016. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Mechanical Engineering Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, USA. His current research interests include characterization and electrochemical modeling of Li-ion batteries, traditional and electrochemical model-based Li-ion battery management system design, and real-world applications of
control and estimation theory especially in alternative and renewable energy systems, mechatronics, robotics, and electrified and autonomous transportation. Dr. Lotfi is a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society and ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division.

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James A. Mynderse Lawrence Technological University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3297-6636

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James A. Mynderse, PhD is an Associate Professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. His research interests include mechatronics, dynamic systems, and control with applications to piezoelectric actuators, hysteresis, and perception. He serves as the faculty advisor for the LTU Baja SAE team.

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Monique Jethwani Columbia School of Social Work

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Monique Jethwani joined the full-time faculty at the Columbia School of Social Work in 2012. She previously served as a postdoctoral research scientist at CSSW’s Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well Being and is now the Assistant Dean of Faculty Development and Academic Affairs. Dr. Jethwani has decades of experience in developmental research, program development and evaluation. For the past ten years, she has evaluated several projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. These projects aim to engage middle school, high school and college students, and their teachers, in robotics and cyber security activities. Findings have identified strategies to better engage female and minority students in STEM related activities and careers. Dr. Jethwani holds a BA from Barnard College, an EdM from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a PhD from the New York University School of Culture, Education Human Development.

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Vikram Kapila New York University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5994-256X

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Vikram Kapila is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (NYU Tandon), where he directs a Mechatronics, Controls, and Robotics Laboratory, a Research Experience for Teachers Site in Mechatronics and Entrepreneurship, a DR K-12 research project, and an ITEST research project, all funded by NSF. He has held visiting positions with the Air Force Research Laboratories in Dayton, OH. His research interests include K-12 STEM education, mechatronics, robotics, and control system technology. Under a Research Experience for Teachers Site, a DR K-12 project, and GK-12 Fellows programs, funded by NSF, and the Central Brooklyn STEM Initiative (CBSI), funded by six philanthropic foundations, he has conducted significant K-12 education, training, mentoring, and outreach activities to integrate engineering concepts in science classrooms and labs of dozens of New York City public schools. He received NYU Tandon’s 2002, 2008, 2011, and 2014 Jacobs Excellence in Education Award, 2002 Jacobs Innovation Grant, 2003 Distinguished Teacher Award, and 2012 Inaugural Distinguished Award for Excellence in the category Inspiration through Leadership. Moreover, he is a recipient of 2014-2015 University Distinguished Teaching Award at NYU. His scholarly activities have included 3 edited books, 9 chapters in edited books, 1 book review, 63 journal articles, and 164 conference papers. He has mentored 1 B.S., 40 M.S., and 5 Ph.D. thesis students; 64 undergraduate research students and 11 undergraduate senior design project teams; over 500 K-12 teachers and 130 high school student researchers; and 18 undergraduate GK-12 Fellows and 59 graduate GK-12 Fellows. Moreover, he directs K-12 education, training, mentoring, and outreach programs that enrich the STEM education of over 1,000 students annually.

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Abstract

Intelligent Autonomous Systems, including Intelligent Manufacturing & Automation and Industry 4.0, have immense potential to improve human health, safety, and welfare. Engineering these systems requires an interdisciplinary knowledge of mechanical, electrical, computer, software, and systems engineering throughout the design and development process. Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (MRE) is emerging as a discipline that can provide the broad inter-disciplinary technical and professional skill sets that are critical to fulfill the research and development needs for these advanced systems. Despite experiencing tremendous, dynamic growth, MRE lacks a settled-on and agreed-upon body-of-knowledge, leading to unmet needs for standardized curricula, courses, laboratory platforms, and accreditation criteria, resulting in missed career opportunities for individuals and missed economic opportunities for industry. There have been many educational efforts around MRE, including courses, minors, and degree programs, but they have not been well integrated or widely adopted, especially in USA. To enable MRE to coalesce as a distinct and identifiable engineering field, the authors conducted four workshops on the Future of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering (FoMRE) education at the bachelor’s degree level.

The overall goal of the workshops was to improve the quality of undergraduate MRE education and to ease the adoption of teaching materials to prepare graduates with a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on skills. To realize this goal, the specific objectives were to generate enthusiasm and a sense of community among current and future MRE educators, promote diversity and inclusivity within the MRE community, identify thought leaders, and seek feedback from the community to serve as a foundation for future activities. The workshops were intended to benefit a wide range of participants including educators currently teaching or developing programs in MRE, PhD students seeking academic careers in MRE, and industry professionals desiring to shape the future workforce. Workshop activities included short presentations on sample MRE programs, breakout sessions on specific topics, and open discussion sessions. As a result of these workshops, the MRE educational community has been enlarged and engaged, with members actively contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

This paper presents the workshops’ formats, outcomes, results of participant surveys, and their analyses. A major outcome was identifying concept, skill, and experience inventories organized around the dimensions of foundational/practical/applications and student preparation/MRE knowledgebase. Particular attention is given to the extent to which the workshops realized the project goals, including attendee demographics, changes in participant attitudes, and development of the MRE community. The paper concludes with a summary of lessons learned and a call for future activities to shape the field.

Gennert, M. A., & Lotfi, N., & Mynderse, J. A., & Jethwani, M., & Kapila, V. (2020, June), Workshops for Building the Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Education Community Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35710

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: © 2020 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