Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Saving Elephants in Africa – Concept to Reality through Experiential Engineering Design
Russell E Gorga, Jesse Jur

Last modified: 10-06-2015


The purpose of this work is to provide undergraduate seniors in engineering 1) the opportunity to work on an industry/externally sponsored project and 2) provide an outside the classroom learning experience.  Here we discuss each of these aspects as it relates to a single project, specifically working to save African elephants from unnecessary slaughter.  We will address each of these separately in “Industry and Education” (where the focus will be on the developing the industry relationship and then fostering it during the lifetime of the project) and “Experiences outside the classroom” (where the focus will be on the learning experience of the students in the field).  The main results are that 1) industry sponsor commitment to the project is the number driver for overall success of the project and 2) an in-the-field educational experience is invaluable for the students to learn the real world pressures of time constraints and developing real-time contingency plans to successfully complete project goals.  In conclusion, we discuss how an external sponsor, committed to interacting with the team and an “outside the classroom” learning experience coupled with good mentoring from the faculty provide an experience that closely parallels  a real-life work experience for the students.


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