Integration of design education, research and practice at CarnegieMellon University: a multi-disciplinary course in wearable computerdesign
ABSTRACT The Engineering Design Research Center (EDRC) at Carnegie Mellon University has created a two-semester design course that integrates research and education though industrially sponsored design projects. Over each of the six semesters that the course has been taught, teams of undergraduate and graduate students have designed, fabricated, and delivered a new generation of wearable computers. The Wearable Computer Design course at the EDRC is cross-disciplinary and inter-departmental, drawing students from four colleges in nine disciplines including five engineering departments (chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and engineering and public policy), architecture, computer science, industrial administration and industrial design, The students in this course learn about design theory and practice, participate in research, and successfully deliver products to sponsors. Furthermore, the students are exposed to the complete cycle of design from concept through initial theoretical modeling and design, multi-disciplinary design tradeoffs to manufacturing, and finally to customer satisfaction and user feedback. This class also serves as a testbed for learning about the needs of a multi-disciplinary design team, for anticipating the needs of geographically-distributed design teams, for reflecting on the interplay between product design and design process, and for evaluating the design tools and design methodologies that have been developed at the EDRC. The paper describes the evolution of the Wearable Computer Design course, the integration of design education, design research and design practice in an interdepartmental course. It also describes the interplay between disciplines, between theory, practice and education, and between designers and users
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ABSTRACT: A cross-course design experience is an efficient way to stitch together two concurrent, single-semester courses to obtain a meaningful number of design credits without unduly increasing a student's overall load. This paper addresses a project that joined the design credits from two Kansas State University (KSU) courses: ECE 773 — Bioinstrumentation Design Laboratory and ECE 502 — Electronics Laboratory. The goal of each project team was to design, build, and demonstrate a two-channel bioamplifier that is functionally similar to a commercial bioamplifier used in the KSU AP 773 — Bioinstrumentation Laboratory course taken by some of these students. Assessment of the experience was provided via a post-project survey that addressed eight learning objectives, learning in 23 technical areas, project administration, and the overall experience. Survey results were positive across the board. Though the time commitment was significant, the students appreciated the opportunity to work on a complex system that required their collective expertise.Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference 01/2011;
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ABSTRACT: Carnegie Mellon University offers a first-year course titled Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering to introduce undergraduate students to the discipline of mechanical engineering. The goals of the course are to excite students about the field of mechanical engineering early in their careers, introduce basic mechanical engineering concepts in an integrated way, provide a link to the basic physics and mathematics courses, and present design and problem-solving skills as central engineering activities. These goals are met through a combination of real-world engineering examples, classroom demonstrations, and hands-on experience in assignments and laboratories. Over the eleven semesters that this course has been taught, teams of first-year students have designed and assembled energy conversion mechanisms using miniature steam engines and Meccano sets to drive a mobile vehicle or to generate electricity for lighting a bulb. This paper describes the systematic process used to design this course and emphasizes this process of carefully integrating lectures with classroom demonstrations, laboratory experiments and hands-on projects to encourage students' active learning.Journal of Engineering Education. 04/1997; 86(2).
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ABSTRACT: This paper presents the preliminary work for developing guidelines to ensure that industry-sponsored projects in first-year courses aid, not hamper, retention of students. Specifically, the overall research plan includes the following steps: (1) investigating the appropriateness of industry projects in a required introduction to engineering design course (approximately 1000 students per year), (2) assessing the impact of industry-sponsored projects on first-year students' learning and retention, and (3) promoting an awareness of issues involved in successfully introducing industry projects in the first year. It is expected that the outcomes of this work will result in guidelines widely applicable by other institutions looking into or currently using industry projects in the first year, thereby addressing the recognized national need of increasing retention rates, especially amongst women and minorities.This paper covers a review of potential factors affecting industry-sponsored projects' appropriateness at the first year, and related preliminary data.European Journal of Engineering Education 12/2006; 31(6):693-704.