O'Kelly B.C., Torrance A.A., West R.P., Burke M.J. and Boland F.M., Case study of an interdisciplinary problem-based engineering design course, Proceedings of the Sixth AECEF International Symposium on Civil Engineering Education in Changing Europe, Vilnius, Lithuania, 28th - 30th May, 2008, 37 - 48
This paper describes an interdisciplinary problem-based engineering design course
taken by about 170 students in the second year of the Bachelor of Engineering degree
program at Trinity College Dublin. The course runs throughout the academic year and
consists of three projects, namely: the design and construction of a model railcar to safely
carry freight in as short a time period as possible along a racecourse (mechanical); a
bridge to support the rail track (civil) and a signaling system to control the movement of
the railcar (electronic). Working groups of mixed ability are given written project specifications,
timelines and submission deadlines. The projects, which have a plurality of solutions,
serve as an engine for invention to assist the students in achieving a range of professional,
transferable and social competences under the guidance of a team of professors
and demonstrators. The motivation among the students is high and considerable enthusiasm
and interaction is generated among the students.
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