The emergence of significant new technology thrusts in engineering, such as microscale systems, biotechnologies and bioengineering, and environmental monitoring, provides engineering educators with a unique opportunity to impact and shape future directions in engineering curricula. A goal of this proposed innovative curriculum is to meet these identified needs that arise from the recent curriculum shifts toward new technology areas and disciplines. For example, exciting new areas such as micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and biotechnology require modern engineering tools that are often fundamentally different from skills currently taught in many existing engineering programs. In response to such potential shortcomings in engineering education, this program directly addresses the need for new, integrated approaches to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to the next generation of engineers.
The proposed curriculum includes several key components. (1) A significant demonstration/hands-on component will be integrated with traditional classroom teaching. Course content will be coupled with actual industrial needs and applications to better support emerging technologies. (2) Assessment and feedback is an important component, and will be sought from both student and industrial practitioners. Program assessment activities will be formulated in cooperation with Dr. Seraphine, a co-principal investigator from the Department of Education Psychology. (3) A substantial continuing education program that is targeted to practicing engineers will be included. One specific approach that will be used to foster interactions with industry is the hosting of workshops during the summer