DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION
The Department of Engineering Education (EED), formerly the Engineering Education Innovation Center, is a focal point for the College of Engineering that supports the development of all Buckeye engineering students, regardless of discipline.
Our programs supplement students’ undergraduate experience both inside and outside the classroom to ensure that they are well prepared for employment in an ever-changing global environment. Our expanding graduate programs help future engineering faculty be more effective educators and mentors who can contribute to the body of engineering education research by developing innovative ways to enhance student learning.
Established as a center in May 2007 and transformed into a department in November 2015, our mission is to advance the engineering profession and enable student success by developing and delivering state-of-the-art, innovative, multidisciplinary engineering courses and programs; by modeling and advocating scholarly, evidence-based teaching within the College of Engineering; and by integrating pedagogical discovery, practice and dissemination through world-class engineering education research.
We add value to our students’ experience throughout their time at Ohio State through our key programs and the EED offers many other opportunities as we continue to evolve and look for new ways to support our students—the engineers and engineering educators of tomorrow.
FIRST-YEAR ENGINEERING PROGRAM
The First-Year Engineering Program teaches basic engineering skills to prepare students for future coursework, internships and careers. First-year undergraduates learn about the numerous disciplines of engineering, while courses in engineering graphics and technical communication instill invaluable programming and computer-aided design skills.
Incoming freshmen take a two-semester series, which broadly introduces the topics of technical graphics, computer-aided design, programming in MATLAB, engineering design and analysis, project management, ethics in engineering, teamwork, and oral and written technical communication. Topics and laboratories provide a broad overview of engineering disciplines. Many “undecided” freshmen use these courses to help them narrow down and declare a major in the College of Engineering.
The continuously updated curriculum, taught by faculty and professional engineers, exposes students to different engineering disciplines and helps develop the most up-to-date and practically relevant skills. All program options entail a culminating, collaborative design-build project.
Broad introduction to engineering – Classes are designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the engineering discipline through labs and projects, starting from the students’ first semester.
Teamwork experience – Students have opportunities for varied and extensive experience working in groups to complete projects, developing important collaborative skills.
Presentation skills – Valuable presentation and communication skills are emphasized, and students learn the importance of effective documentation.
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ENGINEERING CAPSTONE
The Multidisciplinary Engineering Capstone Design Program opens a broad range of opportunities for both engineering and non-engineering students. Authentic, industry-sponsored projects provide students the opportunity to apply their education and develop professional skills in real-world problem solving. These industry projects are ones that specifically require a variety of engineering disciplinary skill sets, drawing students from all of the college’s departments and often beyond. Both students and companies benefit: students gain hands-on industrial experience and companies receive high-value solutions to practical problems.
Through these multidisciplinary design projects, students are exposed to real-world engineering design problems. One of the primary learning objectives is to practice a formal design process— defining the problem, creating innovative solutions, validating the selected solution and providing detailed documentation for implementation.
While working with teammates from other disciplines, students have the opportunity to contribute their expertise to a real product or solution. They also gain valuable experience interfacing with company liaisons and receiving faculty coaching. Students’ learning is enhanced through client design reviews, sharing of historical information and contribution of domain-specific knowledge.
Hands-on experience – Being exposed to real-world problems and client needs, students apply their academic knowledge to practical problem solving.
Design process – Students guide a project through all stages of the design process, a formative step in an engineer’s education.
Professional skills – Students develop skills in professional oral and written communication, engineering and business ethics, and teamwork and project management, while learning to collaborate with a broad range of people.
Industry sponsorship – Industry supplies a real-world project, while companies participate in design review, provide information and industry-specific knowledge.
ENGINEERING TECHNICAL COMMUNICATIONS
An idea is only as good as the innovator’s ability to communicate it to their audience. The Engineering Technical Communications team instructs students on how to effectively present solutions to social, sustainable, and humanitarian problems, and their designs for systems and mechanisms in writing, on the web, via video, and in oral presentations. We teach technical communications as a multi- phased, strategic, and collaborative process within the context of engineering.
With an eye on developing both technical and professional communication skills, students have the chance to practice strategies for critically analyzing audiences and contexts, real- world applications of rhetorical principles, and software skills for producing professional documents and presentations. They produce the types of communications they will actually use on the job—emails, oral presentations, memos, posters, technical reports and proposals—focusing both on content and visual design.
Strategic communication skills – Flexible and practical communication skills are taught as a strategic process of understanding audiences and their needs.
Job search preparation – Creating job materials, preparing for interviews, and learning how to identify and express their interests and values as part of the job search process ensures students will be prepared to enter the workforce.
Professionalization – Effective communication skills are the core of career success and our students develop those skills in practical ways so they will be ready to thrive in a professional environment.
Lisa Abrams, Associate Chair