An integrated interdisciplinary technology project in undergraduate engineering education

P. Ruby Mawasha, Kumar Yelamarthi, J. Mitch Wolff, Joseph Slater, Zhiqiang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The ever changing engineering curriculum mandates an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects. Through interdisciplinary projects, students will be exposed to a curriculum that allows them to work in teams of multi-disciplinary members with focus geared towards integrated technologies. This effort requires collaboration of students and faculty from multiple disciplines, and provides students an opportunity to learn from several other engineering systems. In addition, these projects will also help students to learn and deal with the societal aspects of engineering. The main focus of the paper is the interdisciplinary collaboration of electrical and mechanical engineering students on a senior capstone design of an integrated technology High Altitude Balloon (HAB) system. This project involves the design of a system with a smart high altitude balloon that would reach an altitude of 100,000 feet and return safely to earth. Major challenges in this project were the efficient design of wireless communication modules, and radiation heat transfer analysis on the payload system. The electrical and computer engineering students focused on wireless communication technology, control system design, and data analysis. The mechanical engineering students focused on the design aspects of payload, balloon filling mechanism, flight path prediction based on the study of wind data, and development of a balloon tracking system. Through this experience, students have learned principles of integrated engineering technology, and nurtured their skills in cooperative learning, team work, and effective planning. This paper presents in detail the modes by which these have been achieved, results obtained and improvements planned for the next senior design team.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2007
Event114th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2007Jun 27 2007


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