In an effort to keep up a strong tradition of high quality and innovative education, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed a new first- and second-year course sequence. Design-based SPIRAL Learning curriculum is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The new curriculum introduces students to the complex and multifaceted nature of professional engineering practice. It integrates a variety of engineering topics such as:
- First-Year: Introduction to Robotic Systems Design I & II; Statics and Strengths
- Second-Year: Introduction to Energy Systems Design I & II; Dynamics ; Machining Lab
- Third-Year: Mechatronics I & II; Strengths II; Design Mechatronics Eleements; Heat Transfer; Fluids; Thermo II
- Fourth-Year: Senior Design I & II, Manufacturing
“Our research suggests that an integrated approach to engineering education will produce students who are more confident in their engineering abilities,” says Tim Ameel, department chair. “Our program allows students to have multiple innovative, hands-on experiences, combined with consistently reinforced training in the basic theories of the engineering sciences that gives them the combination of skills they need for the workforce.” Students are also exposed to a strong teamwork environment combined with the opportunity to work on solving real-world design problems to reinforce what they learn int he classroom. The latest engineering, computational and professional tools also play a key role in instrumentation. Our undergraduate Spiral Curriculum is the winner of several Best Paper awards from the American Society for Engineering Education and the Division of Experimentation and Laboratory Oriented Studies. The Spiral Curriculum is an integrated, hands-on learning experience that carries throughout the Freshman and Sophomore year.