Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes and Process for Continuous Improvement

Voluntary Accreditation of an Engineering Curriculum is performed by a visiting committee of members of the relevant professional engineering and technical societies. ABET was founded in 1932 and accredits more than 660 colleges and universities in 23 nations that offer more than 3100 programs. Our Departmental programs have met the required educational standards and objectives of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET since their inception. Typically the process takes place at six year intervals.  The Mechanical Engineering Program and the Aerospace Engineering Program are accredited by the EAC, Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org

ME and AE Program Educational Objectives are reviewed each year with our faculty at the 1st Faculty Meeting of the year, with our students at our Upper Class Advising Meetings once or twice per year, with our Alumni at our annual Alumni Reception during Reunions, and with our Advisory Council every other year when the council meets.

 

Educational Objectives for the Aerospace Engineering Program

Objective No. 1
Our graduates will think critically and creatively and excel in applying the fundamentals of aerospace engineering.

Objective No. 2
Our graduates will pursue a life of curiousity with a desire for learning and have the ability and self-confidence to adapt to rapid and major changes.

Objective No. 3
Our graduates will advance toward leadership in shaping the social, intellectual, business and technical worlds and by excelling in diverse careers.

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS -- AEROSPACE ENGINEERING PROGRAM

Our process for continuous improvement has multiple components and follows a traditional PDCA (plan-do-check-adjust) strategy. First, we capture data about the aerospace engineering program from a number of sources including students, alumni, faculty, and student records. In particular, we focus on student outcomes which are measured by Senior Independent Work/Senior Thesis/Senior Project and performance indicators in several required upper-level courses.  A table summarizing our student outcome assessment plan is below along with course learning objectives of the courses that contribute to this assessment.  Next, the undergraduate committee evaluates and reviews all aspects of the aerospace engineering program including enrollment and retention, on an annual basis. The findings of such reviews and the supporting data are presented to the departmental faculty at the first meeting of the academic year. A discussion about the aerospace engineering program follows this presentation and if deemed necessary, potential program changes are referred back to the Undergraduate Committee for study and recommendation. Any changes recommended by the Undergraduate Committee would be brought back to the departmental faculty for acceptance, modification or rejection. If accepted we implement the changes in accordance with University wide regulations and track the effect of the change using our assessment instruments (for example, performance indicators, course evaluations). Since the aerospace engineering program is reviewed annually any changes would be implemented in subsequent years following the initial assessment. The MAE faculty drives the process, which involves two of our core constituencies: current students in the aerospace engineering program through a yearly faculty-student forum and a survey of the graduating class, and the departmental advisory board through their bi-annual meeting. The following chart summarizes the process of continuous improvement followed in the MAE department aerospace engineering program:

 

 

 

Students who successfully complete our program will have satisfied the following ABET Program Outcomes:

SO1.   an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics

SO2.   an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors 

SO3.   an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

SO4.   an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts 

SO5.   an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives

SO6.   an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions

SO7.   an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

 

Course Learning Objectives in Courses used for Student Outcome Assessment - Aerospace Program 

MAE 321 Engineering Design

Course Learning Objectives
To understand the phases of the design cycle using a simulation based approach and methods similar to those used in industry including requirements to comply with engineering standards
To gain a practical knowledge of industrial strength Computer Aided Design (CAD), and manufacturing techniques (both traditional and CAM)
To be able to apply state-of-the-art FEM analysis and optimization in a simulation based environment.
The ability to carry out in a small team environment, all phases of a

design from concept to prototyping.

To be able to assess the impact of engineering decisions on the social, economic, environmental and welfare of the affected communities

MAE 331 Aircraft Flight Dynamics

Course Learning Objectives
Understanding of the dynamics and control of aircraft.
Ability to estimate aerodynamic coefficients and stability derivatives from aircraft geometry and flight envelope.
Facility in analyzing mathematical descriptions of the rigid-body motions of flying vehicles.
Ability to estimate the performance, stability, and control characteristics of aircraft.
Development of appreciation for flight-testing methods and results.
Ability to apply systems-engineering approach to the analysis, design, and testing of aircraft.
Demonstration of ability to work in multidisciplinary teams.
Demonstration of computational problem-solving, through thorough knowledge, application, and development of analytical software.
Appreciation of the historical context within which airplanes have evolved to present-day configurations.
Competence in presenting ideas.

MAE 332 Aircraft Design

Course Learning Objectives
To understand the phases of the aircraft cycle using methods similar to those used in industry for preliminary design.
To be able to carry out the preliminary configuration of airframes forgiven mission requirements.
To understand the interplay of several disciplines in the context of aircraft design.
To be able to apply state-of-the-art Computer Aided Engineering

analysis in the context of aircraft design.

MAE 341 Space Flight

Course Learning Objectives
  To develop an understanding of the basic physics behind the two-body problem, how it arises from Newton’s laws, and how it is solved.
  To understand the fundamentals of the various disciplines associated with space flight including orbital mechanics, mission analysis, interplanetary flight, attitude dynamics, space maneuvers, launch and reentry dynamics.
  To develop comfort and ability with the various tools available to solve for orbital trajectories and understand the situations in which they apply.
  To develop a familiarity with current problems in space mechanics and the situations in which they apply.
  To be able to extend the mathematical and physical concepts to synthesizing mission trajectories.

MAE 342 Space System Design

Course Learning Objectives
To learn what goes into making a satellite or other complex space system.
To develop a broad understanding of spacecraft subsystems (structures, propulsion, thermal, power, attitude control, communications, command and data handling).
To be able to solve basic technical problems and perform design tradeoffs in each of the technical subdisciplines in spacecraft design.
To develop and understanding of the space and launch environment and how it drives spacecraft design choices.
To learn how a space system gets designed and built.
To develop an understanding of the definition of a system and of systems engineering.
To be introduced to the methods and processes of systems engineering and project management.
To experience and appreciate the tasks of design tradeoffs, management issues, manufacturing issues, and spacecraft operations via case studies, guest lectures, visits to local industry, and direct project experience.
To be exposed to the "big picture" in space systems design via discussion of current events, industry practice, and space policy.
To personally experience the process of space system design via completion of a team design project.
To learn how to work as a team to accomplish the design of a complex engineering system.
To use and understand the management procedures and processes for effective and productive team interaction and functioning (requirements development, documentation, design reviews, interface control, configuration management).
To learn the importance of effective presentation and communication, to develop an understanding of common industry practice for design review and presentation, and to formally present design results in both written form and as a group presentation.

MAE 433 Automatic Control Systems

Course Learning Objectives
Recognize the advantages (and disadvantages) of feedback
Given a model of a system, identify whether proportional feedback will make the system unstable
Understand PID control, and when to use PI vs. PD
Design classical (e.g., PID) compensators to achieve desired time-domain specifications for the closed-loop system
Use Bode and Nyquist plots to evaluate performance and stability margins
Understand what is meant by controllability and observability of a state-space realization, why they are important, and how to test for these
Design of controllers using modern tools (state-space, pole-placement, LQR) and advantages/disadvantages over classical tools
Understand what an observer is, why it is useful, and how to design one (pole placement)
Use frequency-domain tools (Bode plots, Nyquist plots) to analyze and evaluate controllers obtained from time-domain (state-space) methods
Implement these tools in a laboratory setting

MAE 439/MAE 440 Senior Independent Work (One Semester)

Course Learning Objectives
To experience, often for the first time, independent research.
To work on and solve a complex problem in more depth than allowed

by the traditional coursework.

To have the opportunity to investigate an issue from many different

perspectives, both technical and non-technical.

To develop skills in self-direction, time management, budgeting, and

independent thought.

To offer the opportunity to investigate topics and areas of interest not

included in the standard curriculum.

To develop writing and presentation skills necessary for effective

presentation of ones own work.

To experience the process of design from conception to final

configuration and often through manufacture.

To work closely with a single faculty member on a problem of mutual

interest.

MAE 442 Senior Thesis (Two Semesters)

Course Learning Objectives
To experience, often for the first time, independent research.
To work on and solve a complex problem in more depth than allowed by the traditional coursework.
To have the opportunity to investigate an issue from many different perspectives, both technical and non-technical.
To develop skills in self-direction, time management, budgeting, and independent thought.
To offer the opportunity to investigate topics and areas of interest not included in the standard curriculum.
To develop writing and presentation skills necessary for effective presentation of ones own work.
To experience the process of design from conception to final configuration and often through manufacture.
To work closely with a single faculty member on a problem of mutual interest.

MAE 444 Senior Project (Two Semesters)

Course Learning Objectives
To experience, often for the first time, independent research.
To work on and solve a complex problem in more depth than allowed by the traditional coursework.
To have the opportunity to investigate an issue from many different perspectives, both technical and non-technical.
To develop skills in self-direction, time management, budgeting, and independent thought.
To offer the opportunity to investigate topics and areas of interest not included in the standard curriculum.
To develop writing and presentation skills necessary for effective presentation of ones own work.
To experience the process of design from conception to final configuration and often through manufacture.
To work closely with a single faculty member on a problem of mutual interest.

 

 

Educational Objectives for the Programs in Mechanical Engineering

Objective No. 1
Our graduates will think critically and creatively and excel in applying the fundamentals of mechanical engineering.

Objective No. 2
Our graduates will pursue a life of curiousity with a desire for learning and have the ability and self-confidence to adapt to rapid and major changes.

Objective No. 3
Our graduates will advance toward leadership in shaping the social, intellectual, business and technical worlds and by excelling in diverse careers.

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS -- MECHANICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM

Our process for continuous improvement has multiple components and follows a traditional PDCA (plan-do-check-adjust) strategy. First, we capture data about the mechanical engineering program from a number of sources including students, alumni, faculty, and student records. In particular, we focus on student outcomes which are measured by Senior Independent Work/Senior Thesis/Senior Project and performance indicators in several required upper-level courses.  A table summarizing our student outcome assessment plan is below along with course learning objectives of the courses that contribute to this assessment.  Next, the undergraduate committee evaluates and reviews all aspects of the mechanical engineering program including enrollment and retention, on an annual basis. The findings of such reviews and the supporting data are presented to the departmental faculty at the first meeting of the academic year. A discussion about the mechanical engineering program follows this presentation and if deemed necessary, potential program changes are referred back to the Undergraduate Committee for study and recommendation. Any changes recommended by the Undergraduate Committee would be brought back to the departmental faculty for acceptance, modification or rejection. If accepted we implement the changes in accordance with University wide regulations and track the effect of the change using our assessment instruments (for example, performance indicators, course evaluations). Since the mechanical engineering program is reviewed annually any changes would be implemented in subsequent years following the initial assessment. The MAE faculty drives the process, which involves two of our core constituencies: current students in the mechanical engineering program through a yearly faculty-student forum and a survey of the graduating class, and the departmental advisory board through their bi-annual meeting. The following chart summarizes the process of continuous improvement followed in the MAE department mechanical engineering program:

 

 

 

Students who successfully complete our program will have satisfied the following ABET Program Outcomes:

SO1.   an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
SO2.   an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors 

SO3.   an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

SO4.   an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts 

SO5.   an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives

SO6.   an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions

SO7.   an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Course Learning Objectives in Courses used for Student Outcome Assessment - Mechanical Program 

MAE 321 Engineering Design

Course Learning Objectives
To understand the phases of the design cycle using a simulation based approach and methods similar to those used in industry including requirements to comply with engineering standards
To gain a practical knowledge of industrial strength Computer Aided Design (CAD), and manufacturing techniques (both traditional and CAM)
To be able to apply state-of-the-art FEM analysis and optimization in a simulation based environment.
The ability to carry out in a small team environment, all phases of a

design from concept to prototyping.

To be able to assess the impact of engineering decisions on the social, economic, environmental and welfare of the affected communities

MAE 322 Mechanical Design

Course Learning Objectives
To formulate an iterative, optimizing design approach for solution to complex mechanical problems
To develop and execute project management skills
To form Integrated Product Teams
To establish a plan for the complete cycle of product design, prototype, production, distribution, sales and maintenance
To perform multi-disciplinary design optimizations
To perform tradeoff analysis between technical and economic/market drivers
To perform advanced kinematic and dynamic CAE simulations
To understand, perform and integrate Industrial Design with utility design.
To create advanced CAM-based prototypes of parts and machine tools and molds
To design, analyze, and prototype a complete product within an IPT environment
To convey engineering-design results and economic forecasts in written PDR/FDR formats and public presentations

MAE 412 Microprocessors for Measurement and Control

Course Learning Objectives
To understand basic microcomputer architecture.
To program in microcomputer assembly and machine language.
To understand concept of real-time control and be able to design and program systems involving interrupt processing.
To be able to design microcomputer and electronic interfaces to sensors and actuators for on/off control.
To be able to troubleshoot microcomputer-controlled electronic and electromechanical systems.
To be able to use modern electronic components such as gate array logic and flash memory.
To design, build, program, and document a microcomputer-based team project that involves sensing, actuation, and sequencing of events
To be able to use modern computer software systems including cross assemblers, and computer-aided-design tools for electronic schematic capture.
To be able to use modern manufacturing tools including 3D printers and CNC circuit board mills.

MAE 433 Automatic Control Systems

Course Learning Objectives
Recognize the advantages (and disadvantages) of feedback
Given a model of a system, identify whether proportional feedback will make the system unstable
Understand PID control, and when to use PI vs. PD
Design classical (e.g., PID) compensators to achieve desired time-domain specifications for the closed-loop system
Use Bode and Nyquist plots to evaluate performance and stability margins
Understand what is meant by controllability and observability of a state-space realization, why they are important, and how to test for these
Design of controllers using modern tools (state-space, pole-placement, LQR) and advantages/disadvantages over classical tools
Understand what an observer is, why it is useful, and how to design one (pole placement)
Use frequency-domain tools (Bode plots, Nyquist plots) to analyze and evaluate controllers obtained from time-domain (state-space) methods
Implement these tools in a laboratory setting

MAE 439/MAE 440 Senior Independent Work (One Semester)

Course Learning Objectives
To experience, often for the first time, independent research.
To work on and solve a complex problem in more depth than allowed by the traditional coursework.
To have the opportunity to investigate an issue from many different perspectives, both technical and non-technical.
To develop skills in self-direction, time management, budgeting, and independent thought.
To offer the opportunity to investigate topics and areas of interest not included in the standard curriculum.
To develop writing and presentation skills necessary for effective presentation of ones own work.
To experience the process of design from conception to final configuration and often through manufacture.
To work closely with a single faculty member on a problem of mutual interest.

MAE 442 Senior Thesis (Two Semesters)

Course Learning Objectives
To experience, often for the first time, independent research.
To work on and solve a complex problem in more depth than allowed by the traditional coursework.
To have the opportunity to investigate an issue from many different perspectives, both technical and non-technical.
To develop skills in self-direction, time management, budgeting, and independent thought.
To offer the opportunity to investigate topics and areas of interest not included in the standard curriculum.
To develop writing and presentation skills necessary for effective presentation of ones own work.
To experience the process of design from conception to final configuration and often through manufacture.
To work closely with a single faculty member on a problem of mutual interest.

MAE 444 Senior Project (Two Semesters)

Course Learning Objectives
To experience, often for the first time, independent research.
To work on and solve a complex problem in more depth than allowed by the traditional coursework.
To have the opportunity to investigate an issue from many different perspectives, both technical and non-technical.
To develop skills in self-direction, time management, budgeting, and independent thought.
To offer the opportunity to investigate topics and areas of interest not included in the standard curriculum.
To develop writing and presentation skills necessary for effective presentation of ones own work.
To experience the process of design from conception to final configuration and often through manufacture.
To work closely with a single faculty member on a problem of mutual interest.

 

 

Undergraduate Graduation and Enrollment Data (September 2019.V2)

 

Enrollment Statistics for Aerospace and Mechanical Programs

Class Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Mechanical 22 17 6 17 27 15 16  
Aerospace 3 2 2 1 1 1 4  
Mechanical & Aerospace 25 23 31 31 21 36 37  
Undeclared             2 55
Total 50 42 39 49 49 52 59 55