This paper describes the evolution of the design content in a mechanical engineering curriculum as it evolved from 139 semester credit hour curriculum to a 128 credit program that includes an additional three credit course in the core curriculum. The process of reducing the number of credit hours in the curriculum forced the faculty to take a fresh look at the “design across the curriculum” concept. The implementation of the reduced hour curriculum was eventually enhanced by the addition of hands-on content supporting a theme based on process control systems design. The Process Control Breadboard System, a suite of thermal, fluid, sensor and control elements developed with funding from the National Science Foundation, is used to provide hands-on design, build and test experiences at each academic level. A description of the design curriculum and enhancements is provided. The impact of the thematic approach on the undergraduate design experience, as well as an overall strategy to attract and retain engineering students, is presented. A review of lessons learned from the K-12 experiences and undergraduate implementation of the process controls theme are also included.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.