This paper presents the guidelines and requirements of interdisciplinary projects run by teams comprised of engineering and business students. The benefits of interdisciplinary projects lie in the ability of students to engage in problem-based learning through the execution of real-life project experiences which, if successful, lead to an increased quality of work. Academically, interdisciplinary projects directly address specific required student outcomes and guiding principles for accreditation of engineering and business schools. Professionally, encountering, understanding, and overcoming the challenges associated with working in interdisciplinary teams allow students to develop critical thinking skills that are highly valued by potential employers. Teams are tasked with identifying an unfulfilled need in the marketplace, designing a product to fill that need, and creating manufacturing and business plans around that product. This includes a complete product design, identification of proper facilities and resources needed, a complete economic and industry analysis of the market in which the business will compete, and the construction of a five-year set of pro forma financial statements, including an appropriate cost of capital. Example projects are highlighted to illustrate the achievement of learning outcomes. In addition to the presentation of the proposed product to the instructors early in the semester, teams also have the opportunity to make their final project presentation to additional faculty and invited members of the local business community for feedback. Students indicated that the concept of design for manufacturing and marketing has proven to be very effective in student learning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering