The Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering is at the core of MSU's land-grant mission, providing an inclusive, hands-on learning environment that supports academic excellence, strives for innovation in research and serves the community in Montana and beyond. With nearly 4,000 students we are the second largest college at MSU and one of the largest engineering programs in the Northwest. We strive to empower students to be tomorrow's leaders through degree programs in 14 undergraduate majors, 14 minors, 14 master's degree options and 10 Ph.D. options. We actively leverage shared interests and talents among faculty and students in order to create knowledge across disciplinary lines resulting in 2018 research expenditures of $15 million. Our research entities include world-class centers and laboratories. Our outreach includes annual events for K-12 Montana youth, public events such as the Design Fair, and the Empower program.
The core of why MSU values membership in the KEEN network can be summarized in two words: mission alignment. The engineering, engineering technology and computer science programs of the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering are at the core of MSU's land-grant mission as we seek to develop and deploy novel approaches to educating engineers and empower students to be tomorrow’s leaders.
A key focus of these educational approaches is to foster interdisciplinary engagement and collaboration among students and faculty and facilitate increased creativity and innovation among both students and faculty. These outcomes are perfectly aligned with the three C’s of the entrepreneurial mindset and membership in the network gives us access to a powerful group of other like-minded educators who also place a high value on educational outcomes beyond technical expertise. Through this group, we learn new, exciting, and effective tools that improve the education of MSU engineers, improving their ability to make a difference. At the same time, by sharing our expertise with other members we increase our own impact and improve engineering education beyond the walls of MSU. Together with other members of the network, we are broadly impacting engineering education, putting more engineers who recognize how to creatively create value into the workforce. These changes can bring a massive benefit to our world – which is the heart of why higher education is so important to our society.
In the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering at MSU we seek to empower students to be tomorrow’s leaders through the integration of learning and discovery. To fulfill this mission, we must provide students an engineering skillset while developing a mindset that seeks out new opportunities and wants to make a difference in the world. KEEN membership gives us a powerful network of other like-minded educators who also value the combined power of skillset and mindset and want to develop both in students.
--Dr. Brett Gunnink, Dean of Engineering
published a card
This card focuses on introducing students to key process control loop functions and equipment in a senior-level chemical and biological engineering course. These activities incorporate the following fundamental engineering principles of Fluid FLow, Fermentation, Bioprocess Engineering, Reaction Kinetics, Reactor Engineering, Heat Transfer, and Design.
In this set of activities, groups of senior undergraduate chemical and biological engineering students were given open-to-interpretation tasks that encourage them to utilize a variety of resources to propose a solution. The primary goal is that the students work to propose control process options that would facilitate achieving a production goal, more specifically students will:
-gain more understanding of the different process control loop components and their applications through these tasks and resources
-design a unit or series of units for a specific application with safety, quality, and consistency in mind
-develop alternative designs and evaluate them, seeing the value in creative thinking and collaborating
-link aspects/characteristics of a sensor/valve/controller to what the provided objective is, linking process control components to a unit design and application.
-connect knowledge from previous classes in reactions, heat transfer, kinetics, design, to design a
-consider risk involved with their decisions for each unit and control approach
Additional goals of this card relate to encouraging curiosity, connections and creating value through communication and team working skills. The group activities will facilitate student's conveying their ideas and questions, investigating the "why" behind control/design choices, and witnessing people's different approaches to meet the same goal. It is the hope that by integrating more activities like this that students will continue to gain the skills necessary to approach and navigate broader problems with different potential solutions; and to think critically about their proposed answers and communicate them to different audiences including peers and instructors.
Below is a suggested breakdown and description of this card's tasks and activities and materials to do so can be found in the Folder section below.
Prior to implementing these tasks and activities, provide reading material to students and or an online quiz over this material so that students can engage in the different resources well.
On the day or days of the tasks and activities, ask students to self-select into groups of up to four people and provide them with the following prompt for Task 1:
"A local brewery is looking to upgrade its basic production facility to a controlled system. What type of control design features would you incorporate into the design of a brewing process to make consistent, quality beer in a safe production environment?"
While students begin to approach the Task, encourage students to access different resource materials or inquire about data/diagrams/information that they can find online. Additionally, students can use their textbook, each other, and even the internet to aid in addressing the Task.
Some students will navigate the first task more quickly than others, therefore, consider adding some complexity to their proposed solutions and/or deliver the second Task below.
"What would aspects of your proposed controlled process would change or require alternative design choices if you were to significantly scale up the production facility of this brewery?"
Task 2 is designed to bring another layer to the solutions that the student's will propose and provide them the opportunity to think critically about what they came up within the first Task. Additional materials can be provided during this time such as budget and different production goals.
published a card
The KEEN workshop on problem-solving studios inspired me to develop a case study to teach Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) with an entrepreneurial mindset.
The course is Facilities and Material Handling Systems Design taught in the senior year as a part of the capstone sequence for an Industrial and Management Systems Engineering program. Class meets three times per week for 50 minutes per session.
Students are introduced to the company, its owner and the problem he faces: he wants to grow the company by 25% over the next three years, but feels that he has run out of room in his current factory so has reached production capacity. Over several open-ended sessions, students think about the data they will need to help the owner out, approaches to understanding the problem and generating solutions, and how to evaluate and present solutions that maximize stakeholder value.
The unit followed several elements of the problem-solving studio. The exercises were intentionally open-ended and ambiguous. Students were assigned to work in pairs. The instructor's job was to provide coaching along the way. Assignments and deliverables were evaluated and feedback provided, but they were not graded. Instead, students earned participation points based on effort.