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Allen Hoffman - Design Projects across the Curriculum

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					Design Projects across the
            Curriculum



 Allen H. Hoffman & Holly K. Ault
 Mechanical Engineering Department
 Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  Introductory & Intermediate
        Design Courses
• Develop skills, tools and experiences in
  preparation for capstone design activities
  –   Large course enrollments
  –   Limited student technical background
  –   Desire for students to work in small teams
  –   Written and oral presentations
• Need to develop and simultaneously
  execute a number of high quality projects
• Courses are 7 weeks in length
                Methods
• 1-2 paragraph descriptions solicited from
  outside agencies 4-6 weeks in advance
• Sponsor agrees to provide timely
  communication with teams
• 3-4 teams of 3-4 students each select one
  of the projects
• Sponsor invited to oral presentations and
  receives written reports
• Useful prototypes transferred to sponsor
      ES 1020 Introduction to
           Engineering
• Offered to 1st year students in the
  first term.
• 45-50 students (engineering or
  undecided)
• Projects slanted toward designs that
  involve mostly spatial and geometric
  issues.
• 4 simultaneous projects
Keyboard Mounting System
Foldable Posterior Walker
      ME2300 Introduction to
       Engineering Design
• First design course
• Directed towards 2nd - 3rd year ME
  students
• Strong emphasis on the design
  process
• Enrollment: 50-60 students
• 5-6 simultaneous projects
Swing Away Laptray
Van Access
      ME 3506 Rehabilitation
          Engineering
• Intermediate design course
• Application of engineering principles
  to the design of assistive technology
  devices
• Directed toward 3rd & 4th year ME and
  BME students (50% have only design
  interests)
• Enrollment: 25-30 students
• 3-4 simultaneous projects
TV Remotes
Cutting Board
             Discussion
• Class project based approach is well
  received by the sponsors and by the
  students
• Potential problems
  – Sudden cancellation of projects
  – Limited student fabrication skills
  – Students underestimating the time to
    construct and evaluate prototypes
  – Lack of timely response from sponsors
                 Summary
• Course design projects associated with
  external sponsors have
  – Allowed development of large numbers of
    projects & the use of small design teams
  – Provided a high level of student motivation
  – Reinforced the concept of multiple acceptable
    design solutions
  – Automatically introduced the issues of
    professionalism, confidentiality, ethics, health
    & safety, and societal impact of engineering

				
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posted:12/10/2011
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