The future engineering workforce calls for a skill set that requires disciplinary knowledge and technology to be adapted and applied in solving complex problems with experts from diverse fields. This need also opens opportunities for women and students of color, traditionally underrepresented in engineering, to explore a broader range of research and career pathways that better identify with their interests and values. To support students in acquiring these skills, graduate curricula can benefit from a framework and process for designing educational modules that are accessible to students in different disciplines, that identifies how they contribute to their field, and integrates emerging business needs.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD) is piloting a model for co-creation of cross-disciplinary educational content by teams of graduate students, research advisors, instructors, and practitioners from industry. The educational model is prototyped using a case study of cyber-physical systems applicable across a wide range of industries spanning the service, manufacturing, health-care, transportation, automation, and smart-system based environmental monitoring sectors.
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