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Lessons in Teaching an Interdisciplinary Mechatronics Class

[+] Author Affiliations
Michael Turner

University of Dayton

Paper No. IMECE2005-80074, pp. 79-84; 6 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations in Engineering Education: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4232-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


It is common for engineers but rare for engineering students to be asked to work on projects with people whose expertise is in other fields. In an effort to address this shortcoming at the University of Dayton, an interdisciplinary mechatronics class was developed. This lab based course with equal numbers of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering seniors focused on designing, building and controlling electromechanical systems. This paper covers the development of the course and the challenges posed in teaching such a course. The course is centered on the concept of building an autonomous system by integrating a well designed mechanism with a well designed electrical controller. Particular emphasis is placed on the challenge of covering material which is basic and familiar to one set of students while being novel and challenging to another set of students. Additional discussion is included on encouraging cross-disciplinary communication, preventing asymmetrical workloads and stimulating innovation.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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