Baseball stadium design: Teaching engineering economics and technical communication in a multi-disciplinary setting

Kevin Dahm, James Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rowan University's Sophomore Engineering Clinic provides students with an introduction to engineering design and formal training in technical communication. The course is team taught by faculty from the College of Communications and the College of Engineering. During the past two years, a very successful Sophomore Clinic module on economic design of a baseball stadium has been conducted. Students are presented with a list of possible stadium designs, in which the major parameters are cost and seating capacity, and are challenged to determine which best meets the team's needs. Working in teams of 3-4, they analyze data to quantify the effect of team payroll on won-loss record, which in turn affects ticket sales and merchandising revenues. They produce an optimized economic strategy for running the team, the cornerstone of which is the stadium selection. To support this project, engineering classroom instruction is devoted to introducing the design process (̃2 weeks), fundamentals of engineering economics (̃6 weeks) and basic statistics (1 week). Concurrently, communications faculty members train students in public speaking. At the end of the semester, students present their design in a simulated business meeting to engineering faculty, who portray the owners of the team, and communications faculty, who portray city officials. Students are thus challenged to convince two groups who may have very different agendas that their design is best. Consequently, the module provides a practical exercise in persuasive speaking that nicely complements the more familiar technical seminar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2429-2434
Number of pages6
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Event2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2001Jun 27 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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