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The Treasure in Technical Information: A Research Project for All Disciplines

[+] Author Affiliations
Bruce A. Harding

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. IMECE2003-43533, pp. 127-135; 9 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis, Technology and Society, Engineering Business Management, and Homeland Security
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3728-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Engineering practitioners often find themselves required to locate technical and non-technical information from a variety of sources. They may generate quotes, research equipment specifications, determine market shares, delineate a proposed manufacturing process, find company profiles, retrieve demographics data, certify compliance with international or national standards, or research any one of countless other pieces of information. This may involve books, CDs, periodicals, newspapers, corresponding via email, fax, letters or the worldwide web, across several languages. Few classroom projects address practitioner’s needs for broad information research skills. This paper details strategies for a unique student research project leading to useful experience applicable to engineering and engineering technology practitioners in any discipline, in any locality. The project could be instituted in virtually any class at any level and run in any language. It is readily adaptable to changing technology, any textbook, and has now been in use since 1982. As implemented at Purdue University, it has been cited by multiple ABET re-accreditation teams for innovation and as an excellent example of continuously improved instruction. Over the years it has grown to become one of the more noteworthy experiences cited in both student exit surveys and in graduate surveys.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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