Rowan University's College of Engineering stresses the importance of a well-rounded undergraduate engineering curriculum, incorporating relevant aspects of all engineering fields as well as promoting teamwork through multidisciplinary group projects. This paper describes a semester-long sophomore-level multidisciplinary engineering design course in which student teams design and create a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that powers a Lego® Mindstorms robot. The project combines mechanical, chemical, civil & environmental, and electrical & computer engineering skills. Students determine how changing certain fuel cell parameters and conditions affect voltage and current, then construct a Lego® Mindstorms robot that will derive its energy from a MFC stack. The project reinforces many concepts from courses early in the curriculum, such as chemistry, biology, and physics. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the project, contribution and cooperation from all students are important factors in the success of their designs. This paper discusses the course structure, experimental and design aspects of the project, and student response to the project.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - 2002|
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