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  1. The Mechanical Engineering Department at a private, mid-sized university was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments (RED) grant in July 2017 to supports the development of a program that fosters students’ engineering identities in a culture of doing engineering with industry engineers. With a theme of strong connection to industry, through changes in four essential areas, a shared department vision, faculty, curriculum, and supportive policies, this culture of “engineering with engineers” is being cultivated. Many actions have taken to develop this culture. This paper reports our continued efforts in changes of these four areas:more »Shared department vision: The department worked together to revise the department mission to reflect the goal of fostering engineering identity. From this shared vision, the department updated the advising procedure and began addressing the challenge of diversity and inclusion faced in engineering. A diversity and inclusion statement was discussed by all faculty and included in all syllabi offered by the department to emphasize the importance of an inclusive culture. Faculty: The pandemic prompted faculty to think differently on how they deliver their courses and interact with students. Many faculty members adapted inverted classroom pedagogy and implemented remote laboratories to continue the emphasis of “doing engineering”. The industry adviser holds weekly virtual office hours to continue to provide industry contacts for students. Although faculty summer immersion this past year was postponed due to pandemic, interactions with industry were continued in various courses. Curriculum: A new mechanical engineering curriculum rolled out in the 2019-20 academic year. Although changes have to be made due to the pandemic but the focus of “engineering with engineers” remained. An example would be the Vertical Integrated Design Projects (VIDP) courses offered in Spring 2020. Utilizing virtual communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, student teams in the VIDP courses could still interact with industry advisors on a regular basis and learned from their experiences. Supportive policies: The department has worked closely with other departments, the college and the university to develop supportive policies. Recently, the college recommended the diversity and inclusion statement developed by the department to all senior design courses offered in the college. The university was aware of the goal of this project in fostering students’ engineering identities, which in term can promote the retention of URMs. The department’s effort is aligned with the new initiative the university launched to build an inclusive environment. More details of the action items in each area of change that the department has taken to build this culture of engineering with engineers will be shared in the full-length paper. This project was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) IUSE/PFE: RED grant through NSF.« less
  2. Finding tangible ways to incorporate inclusion into classroom environments remains a daunting task for many educators. The engineering education literature provides examples of activities to try and practices to incorporate, but applying the literature in a manner appropriately nuanced to an educator’s specific situated context takes time and effort. There are also many unknown factors educators cannot prepare for. In this narrative study, we present the story of an instructor who takes incremental steps to build an inclusive environment in a senior capstone course in order to promote her student’s understanding of the importance of having an inclusive environment. Thismore »paper highlights how one new tool, the Inclusivity Meter (IM), produces insights for the department as it continues its Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant. Despite various changes incorporated in the senior design and the department as a whole, students continued to bring up feelings of exclusion in departmental and college wide surveys, which warranted further attention. This study documents one quarter, Fall of 2020, as the school continues with virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tool, the “Inclusivity Meter,” is a weekly reflection activity that asks students to answer two questions: “How included did you feel?” and “Are there any additional comments you would like to add?”. Each senior design team was required to formulate team norms and a team agreement to scaffold the conversations of inclusion. The instructor herself then reflected on these weekly enactments of the tool and becomes more aware of inclusion in her classroom and what conversations seem to bubble up around the Inclusivity Meter.She also reflects on how this practice communicates to her students her commitment to inclusion and how it has helped her encourage students to speak up about issues around inclusion. Here, we monitor this practice through a series of reflective conversations between the educator and the other two authors and present a narrative based on themes from these conversations. This study provides new engineering educators an insight into what it looks like to incorporate a specific inclusive practice, how we might start thinking differently about what works and for whom in enacting inclusive practices, and how educators can continue to develop their “integrity of practice” around inclusion.« less
  3. This is a Lessons-Learned paper. During the past years the Mechanical Engineering program at XXXX has made numerous curricular changes that focus on cultivating a culture of “engineering with engineers” and developing strong engineering identities in their students. The four major changes in the curriculum include implementing an integrated electrical engineering and data acquisition (DAQ) course sequence, adding a vertically integrated design projects (VIDP) course sequence, modifying an existing design sequence, and adding real engineering into existing courses. Many of these changes rely on hands-on labs and on creating connections between students and industry. In the spring of 2020, themore »pandemic forced the program to offer all of its courses online and challenged the department to rethink how it could continue its strong hands-on, industry-focused program. Most courses were quickly flipped and online class time via Zoom focused on community building and small group discussions. New checks and activities helped to keep students engaged and provided regular feedback to instructors on student progress. Lab assignments were modified so that all lab work could be done remotely. This paper details these changes, describes successes and failures, and discusses lessons learned. A summary of the paper will be presented as a lightning-talk during the 2021 ASEE Annual Conference.« less
  4. Michaletz, Sean (Ed.)
  5. Metal–organic frameworks/materials (MOFs/MOMs) are advanced enzyme immobilization platforms that improve biocatalysis, materials science, and protein biophysics. A unique way to immobilize enzymes is co-crystallization/co-precipitation, which removes the limitation on enzyme/substrate size. Thus far, most enzyme@MOF composites rely on the use of non-sustainable chemicals and, in certain cases, heavy metals, which not only creates concerns regarding environmental conservation but also limits their applications in nutrition and biomedicine. Here, we show that a dimeric compound derived from lignin, 5,5′-dehydrodivanillate (DDVA), co-precipitates with enzymes and low-toxicity metals, Ca2+ and Zn2+, and forms stable enzyme@Ca/Zn–MOM composites. We demonstrated this strategy on four enzymes withmore »different isoelectric points (IEPs), molecular weights, and substrate sizes. Furthermore, we found that all enzymes displayed slightly different but reasonable catalytic efficiencies upon immobilization in the Ca–DDVA and Zn–DDVA MOMs, as well as reasonable reusability in both composites. We then probed the structural basis of such differences using a representative enzyme and found enhanced restriction of enzymes in Zn–DDVA than in Ca–DDVA, which might have caused the activity difference. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first aqueous-phase, one-pot synthesis of a lignin-derived “green” enzyme@MOF/MOM platform that can host enzymes without any limitations on enzyme IEP, molecular weight, and substrate size. The different morphologies and crystallinities of the composites formed by Ca–DDVA and Zn–DDVA MOMs broaden their applications depending on the problem of interest. Our approach of enzyme immobilization not only improves the sustainability/reusability of almost all enzymes but also reduces/eliminates the use of non-sustainable resources. This synthesis method has a negligible environmental impact while the products are non-toxic to living things and the environment. The biocompatibility also makes it possible to carry out enzyme delivery/release for nutritional or biomedical applications via our “green” biocomposites.« less
  6. The Mechanical Engineering Department at a private, mid-sized university was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments (RED) grant in July 2017 to supports the development of a program that fosters students’ engineering identities in a culture of doing engineering with industry engineers. With a theme of strong connection to industry, through changes in four essential areas, a shared department vision, faculty, curriculum, and supportive policies, this culture of “engineering with engineers” is being cultivated. Many actions have taken to develop this culture. This paper reports our continued efforts in changes of these four areas:more »Shared department vision: The department worked together to revise the department mission to reflect the goal of fostering engineering identity. From this shared vision, the department updated the advising procedure and began addressing the challenge of diversity and inclusion faced in engineering. A diversity and inclusion statement was discussed by all faculty and included in all syllabi offered by the department to emphasize the importance of an inclusive culture. Faculty: The pandemic prompted faculty to think differently on how they deliver their courses and interact with students. Many faculty members adapted inverted classroom pedagogy and implemented remote laboratories to continue the emphasis of “doing engineering”. The industry adviser holds weekly virtual office hours to continue to provide industry contacts for students. Although faculty summer immersion this past year was postponed due to pandemic, interactions with industry were continued in various courses. Curriculum: A new mechanical engineering curriculum rolled out in the 2019-20 academic year. Although changes have to be made due to the pandemic but the focus of “engineering with engineers” remained. An example would be the Vertical Integrated Design Projects (VIDP) courses offered in Spring 2020. Utilizing virtual communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, student teams in the VIDP courses could still interact with industry advisors on a regular basis and learned from their experiences. Supportive policies: The department has worked closely with other departments, the college and the university to develop supportive policies. Recently, the college recommended the diversity and inclusion statement developed by the department to all senior design courses offered in the college. The university was aware of the goal of this project in fostering students’ engineering identities, which in term can promote the retention of URMs. The department’s effort is aligned with the new initiative the university launched to build an inclusive environment. More details of the action items in each area of change that the department has taken to build this culture of engineering with engineers will be shared in the full-length paper. This project was funded by the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) IUSE/PFE: RED grant through NSF.« less
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 8, 2022
  8. WIP: The Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department at Seattle University was awarded a 2017 NSF RED (Revolutionizing Engineering and Computer Science Departments) grant. This award provided the opportunity to create a program where students and faculty are immersed in a culture of doing engineering with practicing engineers that in turn fosters an identity of being an engineer. Of the many strategies implemented to support this goal, one significant curricular change was the creation of a new multi-year design course sequence. This set of three courses, the integrated design project (IDP) sequence, creates an annual curricular-driven opportunity for students to interact withmore »each other and professional engineers in the context of an open-ended design project. These three courses are offered to all departmental first-, second-, and third-year students simultaneously during the spring quarter each year. Each course consists of design-focused classroom instruction tailored to that class year, and a term design project that is completed by teams of students drawn from all three class years. This structure provides students with regular design education, while also creating a curricular space for students across the department to interact with and learn from one of another in a meaningful way. This structure not only prepares students for their senior design experience, but also builds a sense of community and belonging in the department. Furthermore, to support the "engineering with engineers" vision, volunteer engineers from industry participate as consultants in the design project activities, giving students the opportunity to learn from professionals regularly throughout their entire four years in the program. This course sequence was offered for the first time in 2020, and while the global pandemic impacted the experience, the initial offering was by all accounts a success. This paper provides an overview of the motivation for the three IDP courses, their format, objectives, and specific implementation details, and a discussion of some of the lessons learned. These particulars provide other engineering departments with a roadmap for how to implement this type of a curricular experience in their own programs.« less