Motivating undergraduates to use their engineering: Integrating COMSOL multiphysics and designs for world health

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Abstract

Humanitarian engineering design problems can be used to motivate students to learn finite element analysis software. Specifically, health-related projects originating from needs in developing countries are assigned to teams of undergraduate juniors in Bioengineering, and COMSOL multiphysics is used to assess whether designs meet quantitative design criteria. Survey results suggest that this method is effective in helping students use engineering principles such as transport phenomena, heat transfer, and solid and fluid mechanics to assess feasibility of designs ranging from pediatric ventilators to electrosurgical pens. We conclude that the humanitarian engineering design theme motivates students to learn COMSOL multiphysics thus reinforcing technical and professional skills necessary to prepare them for modern engineering practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1104
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Volume25
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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