American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers



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Teaching Engineering Design to Biological Engineering Freshmen

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  018072,  2001 ASAE Annual Meeting. (doi: 10.13031/2013.6280) @2001
Authors:   Bradley P. Marks
Keywords:   education, teaching, freshman design, engineering design, curriculum

A critical analysis of freshman design in biological engineering (BE) curricula is motivated by three important factors: a national trend toward introducing design early in the undergraduate engineering experience, a significant change in accreditation requirements, and a slow but steady evolution from an industry-based discipline (i.e., agricultural engineering) to a principles-based discipline (i.e., biological engineering). The objectives of the paper are to review the current general practices regarding teaching engineering design at the freshman level, to evaluate the extent that these practices are being applied within BE programs across the U.S., and to formulate recommendations regarding BE-specific design courses at the freshman level. Only ~49% of the BE programs appear to offer freshman courses with a significant design component. For reasons associated with student recruitment, retention, and disciplinary differentiation, BE-specific freshman design courses are recommended as an important element in BE curricula. Consequently, there is a need for shared resources (project ideas, case studies, and a textbook) to specifically support such as course across the discipline.

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