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Innovative Applied Research Projects Using Industry Collaboration

[+] Author Affiliations
Saeed Foroudastan, Linda Hardymon

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

Paper No. IMECE2003-42360, pp. 7-10; 4 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations and Applied Research in Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3722-X | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Partnerships between the Middle Tennessee State University Engineering Technology Department and the local industrial community are well adapted to research and development projects for the students. Resulting interactions between engineering technology programs and industry are advanced in many ways, including long-term partnerships, informal contacts between faculty members and industrial personnel, consulting, and collaboration on training opportunities, discussions, seminars, and teaching programs. Foremost, however, are the many ways students benefit from the related assignments. Through applied research projects, students focus on innovative project developments that provide practical solutions to complex problems. They learn to initiate, design, and implement new initiatives within the university and industrial partnerships and to profit from the opportunities to explore new technologies and practice skills that meet real world challenges. MTSU modified its introductory engineering course to incorporate not only the fundamentals required to the support basic engineering course learning experience, but to include a choice of hands-on design projects. At present, a solar powered vehicle and a moon buggy have been designed, constructed, and entered into national races to test the decisions and capabilities of the projects as a result of this innovative laboratory approach. The laboratory atmosphere centered on these applied research projects features the opportunity to work at the university and/or take advantage of the industrial partner’s equipment and expertise. Partnerships with industry are essential in providing access to the latest equipment and technology. Applied research projects are important for students to gain a much better “sense” of engineering and to progress to higher levels of project interaction that offer design and design problem issues, use of knowledge, physical application, and comprehension of engineering principles.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Collaboration



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