Multidisciplinary Project: A CDIO Case Study at Taylor’s University

Multidisciplinary Project: A CDIO Case Study at Taylor’s University

D. Tong, M. Hajibeigy (2014).  Multidisciplinary Project: A CDIO Case Study at Taylor’s University. 10.

Multidisciplinary Project: A CDIO Case Study at Taylor’s University Mohammad Taghi Hajibeigy1, Douglas Tong Kum Tien2,* School of Engineering, Taylor’s University, Malaysia

Abstract: The demand for competent graduate engineers with capabilities to undertake complex multidisciplinary challenges has led to the introduction of multidisciplinary project based learning at a relatively early stage in the engineering curriculum at Taylor’s University. This paper documents a multidisciplinary group project to conceive, design, implement and operate an electric car for a single passenger undertaken by two fourth semester Mechanical Engineering and two fourth semester Electrical & Electronic Engineering students under the supervision of the authors. As second year students beginning with very little knowledge and experience related to the project, the students were able to successfully acquire the necessary skills and knowledge on their own, work together as a team and cross engineering disciplines to produce a fully functioning artifact within one semester. A safe and sustainable product was successfully delivered within the required timeframe. The effective application of the CDIO processes is highlighted. The learning process, the social dynamics and the positive pedagogical outcomes achieved through this intense learning experience are evaluated and presented in this paper. The trend of engineering education is progressively shifting from the traditional content based and input centered education method to a measurable outcome based method. This shift runs in parallel with the shift from requiring highly focused professionals of single discipline to professionals with a multidisciplinary mindset as the job market continually evolves to require a mixture of technical abilities. This change to a multidisciplinary approach is not without barriers. This project was proposed to the students as a multidisciplinary project intended to break these entrenched barriers between disciplines in order to better prepare the students for the highly competitive job market. In addition to these changes in the professional work environment, the need for engineers to have leadership character, communication skills, independency, management skills, and problem solving techniques constantly increases. In this project, the students were given the authority to select their team leader, prepare Gantt chart, follow CDIO processes and closely manage their timeline. Analyzing weekly task record was evidence of students learning outcomes towards achieving the module outcomes. The key elements of this module are that students were given authority to manage their own project and practice leadership while doing extensive research under supervision of supervisors.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary, Project Based Learning, Electric car, CDIO

------------------------------------- *Corresponding Author

Proceedings of the 10th International CDIO Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 15-19 2014

Authors (New): 
Douglas Kum Tien Tong
Mohammad Taghi Hajibeigy
Taylor’s University, Malaysia
Project based learning
Electric car
CDIO Standard 1
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 3
CDIO Standard 5
CDIO Standard 6
CDIO Standard 8
CDIO Standard 11
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