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Lessons Learned From Operating a Multidisciplinary Engineering Learning Center

[+] Author Affiliations
Natalie Gedde, Stephen Silliman, Stephen Batill

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Paper No. DETC2006-99742, pp. 859-866; 8 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4c: 3rd Symposium on International Design and Design Education
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame began operation of a multidisciplinary Learning Center in the fall of 2000. The College’s Engineering Learning Center enhances Notre Dame’s undergraduate engineering curriculum by providing students with a blend of computer workstations, laboratory workbenches, and open laboratory space. The goal of the Engineering Learning Center is to foster hands-on, multidisciplinary activities within the College. The Learning Center is flexible in design and usage. Areas in the Learning Center include a computer/group work area, fabrication area, specialty equipment area, presentation area, and support facilities. It has supported classes from every department in the College, college-wide special events, and small project group meetings. It also supports the project-intensive, first year course with an enrollment of 300–400 students each semester. The flexible design of the Learning Center has led to continuously increasing use of this facility for multiple aspects of our undergraduate engineering curriculum. The combination of computing with hands-on work space has enabled development of more sophisticated projects in our First-Year course. Further, the flexible work areas, availability of tools, and in-room storage areas have encouraged development of a number of undergraduate senior-design projects. Finally, the facility is experiencing expanding use as a late-night study area. The current Learning Center also serves as a prototype for an expanded Learning Center in a new engineering building planned for the Notre Dame campus. Lessons learned using this facility will directly impact the design of the new, expanded Learning Center facility.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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