Computer-integrated Course Design for 21st Century Marine Engineers

The development of meaningful engineering courses that are appropriate to the careers of today's U.S. Maritime Academy cadets is a challenging problem at best. Maritime cadets have a wide variety of career paths open to them upon graduation ranging from engineering officer positions in the U.S. Merchant Service, to shore jobs in the power plant and facilities industry, to entry level engineering positions in related industries, and even post-graduate engineering school at some of America's top universities. As a result, this "teaching" problem is particularly difficult within cutting-edge courses that cover the evolving areas of Electronics, Instrumentation, and Control (EI&C). Within these three areas, in particular, the tools and standards in use for EI&C engineering hardware and software are improving rapidly. *** Global warming, transportation & energy fields -> Maritime Engineering Given the wide range of career choices for the maritime engineering graduate, these classes must not only address the older systems still in service in the Marine and Power industries, but also cover new developments in EI&C that will directly impact both career choices in the high-tech area, and long term trends in an active engineering career. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy will address these issues this academic year through three classes involving applications of design and hands-on practical experience to the engineering curriculum. Two of these classes (discussed in this paper) rework traditional core classes already on-the-books, and a third new engineering design class will start this spring. This paper discusses the design and development of the two traditional courses in the EI&C area: Electronics (EN-3212), and Instrumentation & Control (EN-4223). Both classes are being re-designed to improve hands-on experience in formal hardware laboratories and to include take-home labs and case studies relevant to marine engineering.