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Undergraduate Active Learning Experience through Industrial Sponsored Capstone Projects on Thermal-Fluids Science

Jiajun Xu
University of the District of Columbia

Devdas Shetty
University of the District of Columbia, DC 20008 USA

Abiose Adebayo
University of the District of Columbia, DC 20008 USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2019.edu.027161
pages 491-499


KEY WORDS: Experiential learning, senior capstone project, thermal-fluids, additive manufacturing, modeling and simulation

Abstract

In order for students to enhance their understanding of engineering concepts, hands-on experience proves to be essential. Incorporating the design component in undergraduate engineering education has been an immediate and pressing concern for educators, professional societies, industrial employers and agencies concerned with national productivity and competitiveness. It is crucial to enhance undergraduate design and research experiences to meet both societal needs and the growing job-market demands. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the District of Columbia's only public institution of higher education, and a historically black college and university (HBCU), had recently modernized its undergraduate curricula in engineering to meet that need. This paper presents a case study of recent implementation of Student-Presentation based Active Learning (SPAL) approach through undergraduate Capstone Design projects. These projects are externally-funded and designed to promote experiential learning of Thermal-fluids science. Further, this paper discusses the effectiveness of this SPAL approach in implementing multidisciplinary projects, hands-on design and experimentation, as well as entrepreneurship related undergraduate experiences and training for underrepresented minority students at UDC. Finally, in addition to critical design experiences and undergraduate training, techniques developed here have the potential to develop into new commercial technologies that will aid the advancement of technologies in various industries.

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