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Christian Brothers University

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering

Project: GO BaBy Go—MROC

NCEES Engineering Education Award $10,000 winner

Participants:

Electrical and Computer Engineering students: Steve Whatley, E.I., Judit Aubets Macia, Noah Vongphit, Daniel Nguyen, Brandy M. Washington, Felipe S. Cervantes, Jesus Flores-Valladares, Min-Seo Song, Mishal T. Alqattan, Nicholas R. Ireland, Rosemarie G. Wiethop, Stacy L. Okai, and Sylvester R. Dzimiri

Mechanical Engineering students: Melissa Tammi, Sean C. Williams, Tia C. Pearson, and Allison K. Sorette

Faculty at Christian Brothers University: Michael Sean June, Ph.D.; Chad Baker, Ph.D.; John Ventura, Ph.D., P.E.; Eric Welch, Ph.D.; Divya Choudhary, Ph.D.; Hussin K. Ragb, Ph.D.; Falih H. Ahmad, Ph.D., P.E.;  James Aflaki, Ph.D.; Jose Davila, Ph.D.; Faris A. Malhas, Ph.D.; Yeu-Sheng Shiue, Ph.D.; and Siripong Malasri, Ph.D., P.E.

Faculty at University of Tennessee Health Science Center: Dr. Kunal Singhal, Luisa Ramírez de Lynch, Dr. Stephanie Lancaster, Susan E. Anderson, and Dr. Richard J. Kasser

Professional Engineers: Tim Herndon, P.E.; John Ventura, Ph.D., P.E.; Patrick McGinnis, P.E.; Falih H. Ahmad, Ph.D., P.E.; Joseph Johnson, P.E.; Frank A. Niedzwiedz Jr., P.E.; Tom Stoll, P.E.; and Siripong Malasri, Ph.D., P.E.

Additional participants: Elizabeth Hayes, E.I., Amy G. Siebenmorgen, Dr. Leslie J. McAbee, Robert Moats, Henry Rhodes, Thomas Podesta, Steve Pickett, and Renee Stoll

Points of view

Having been an engineer for many years before becoming an academic, I am aware of industry needs as well as what it’s like to be a student. Students need to be able to tie the theory to something they will or may use in their careers in order for it to be valued and retained. Also, engineers must have hands-on knowledge of fabrication techniques and ergonomics to prevent the design of unworkable or complex parts that are difficult to manufacture. Early-career engineers should already know how to communicate ideas and results, set and manage expectations, work in a team environment, and be able to deliver a product on time with the highest quality practical considering all requirements. Students that have not interacted with a customer, have not brought even a simple design from ideation to product delivery, have no idea what to expect in their first job, and are at a great disadvantage.

Other programs must have a strong partnership with local industry, entrepreneurs, and inventors in order to know what is expected and needed in the world outside of the university. As well, there should be faculty with real industry experience to guide programs that foster these student experiences.