Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)

Title

Multidisciplinary Research Projects as a Pathway for Undergraduate Skill Development: A Pilot Study

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Abstract

This poster presents research in progress that is looking to explore the value of multidisciplinary, hands-on research projects within undergraduate mechanical engineering education programs. Developing programs to expand the skills of engineering graduates in order to better meet the needs of industry has become a recent topic of attention for many national organizations as well as education researchers. The overall goal of this research study is to identify outcomes associated with participation in multidisciplinary projects. This study has collected pilot data from students involved in a two year Creative Inquiry project at Clemson University. The multidisciplinary team of mechanical engineering, bioengineering, nursing, and marketing students aspired to develop a stabilization process for pediatric patient’s arms during venipuncture procedures, such as drawing blood. Pilot interviews were conducted with past team members who had since graduated and were either employed or pursuing further education. Pilot participants articulated direct links between the skills they developed from the project and their roles in their current careers. The findings of this pilot study have motivated future investigation into the implications of multidisciplinary research as a supplement to traditional mechanical engineering education.

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