Integration of multidisciplinary design and technical communication: An inexorable link

Ravi P. Ramachandran, Anthony J. Marchese, Raul Ordonez, Carlos Sun, Eric Constans, John L. Schmalzel, Heidi L. Newell, Harriet Benavidez, Julie Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Engineering Clinic is an eight semester sequence, based on the medical school model, taken by every engineering student at Rowan University. In these clinics, students and faculo, from all four engineering departments work side-by-side on laboratory experiments, real world design projects and research. The solutions of these problems require not only proficiency in the technical principles, but, as importantly, require a mastery of written and oral communication skills and the ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team. In the sophomore year, communication (written and oral) and design (semester long multidisciplinary design project) are integrated. The course is team-taught by faculty from the College of Communication and the College of Engineering. This paper describes a recent design and communication experience in which students designed and built a market-ready guitar effects pedal prototype in a single semester. Achievement of integration is by formulating a high quality technical design and convincing the customer about the design benefits. Students appreciate that design and communication skills are very useful for entrepreneurship. Further exemplification is by quantitative assessment results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1 SPEC.
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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