Tom Eppes, professor of electrical & computer engineering, Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical engineering, and Kamau Wright, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, recently published an article in the International Journal of Online Engineering (iJOE), Vol. 13 No. 11. The iJOE publishes fundamentals, applications and experiences in the area of remote engineering, virtual instrumentation, and simulation techniques.
The paper, ‘Applications and App Building in Hybrid Courses,’ provides an overview of applications (apps) built as extensions of multiphysics models that were integrated into traditional face-to-face and hybrid engineering courses. Apps were first included in a multidisciplinary modeling graduate course that emphasized an end-of-semester research project. At the undergraduate level, apps were added into a two-course mechanical engineering thermo-fluids sequence. As a result, students have become more demonstrably engaged and are devoting substantial time outside the classroom to understand theoretical concepts. Feedback from graduates indicates that familiarity with simulation work-flow and application building are effective skillsets in securing an entry-level industry position.
High Impact Practices: Transform the undergraduate experience grant funded this effort in AY 15-16 (Drs. Eppes and Milanovic) and AY 16-17 (Drs. Wright and Milanovic). Dr. Eppes focused on simulation and app development for research initiatives in a graduate course (ECE/ME 537). Dr. Milanovic embedded simulations into two successive junior year courses (ME 340 & ME 341). The courses were modified to develop technical competency in modeling and simulations, deepen understanding of thermo-fluids by solving realistic technological problems, and enhance technical report writing skills. Up to ten simulations are assigned in each course. Dr. Wright successfully incorporated simulations into the sophomore course (ME 236), along with a collaborative project based on the NAE Grand Challenge: Provide Access to Clean Water. As ME 236 is a prerequisite for ME 340 (and subsequently, ME 341), this allowed students to be exposed to modeling and simulation in thermo-fluids, earlier than has typically been done. Students completed introductory models toward the goal of being able to better model and simulate their engineering design solutions in class, in subsequent courses, during research experiences, and in engineering practice.