ERIC Number: ED446276
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-8
Reference Count: N/A
A Successful Engineering Design Education Program Incorporating "Hands-On" and Interaction with Industry.
Durfee, William K.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota developed a new engineering design curriculum to meet the pedagogical needs of undergraduate and graduate engineering students and to excite and retain engineering students of both genders and from all backgrounds. The curriculum is based on a series of guided, hands-on experiences and significant collaboration with industry. The cornerstone of the undergraduate program is a new introduction to engineering course that teaches through product dissections and creative hands-on activities. At the graduate level, teams of business and engineering students undertake product development projects in collaboration with sponsoring companies. The resulting level of interaction between the university and industry has been shown to benefit students, faculty, and partner companies without requiring the expenditure of significant university resources. The curriculum's designers offered the following lessons for others considering similar programs: (1) engineering and business must lead the program equally; (2) creating appropriate confidentiality and intellectual property policies and agreements takes time and requires considerable negotiation between company and university lawyers; (3) the course's formal academic component should center on learning a product development process; and (4) close geographic proximity between company and university leads to greater company-university interaction. (MN)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Adult Learning, Cultural Differences, Cultural Pluralism, Engineering Education, Experiential Learning, Financial Support, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Learning Activities, Nontraditional Students, Partnerships in Education, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, School Business Relationship, School Holding Power, Sex Differences, Student Projects, Technical Education, Undergraduate Study, Womens Education
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A