(516d) Mems (Microelectromechanical Systems) – a Model System for Interdisciplinary Design

Authors: 
Biernacki, J. J., Tennessee Technological University
Wilson, C. D., Tennessee Technological University
Mahajan, S., Tennessee Technological University
Cunningham, G. T., Tennessee Technological University
Parke, S. A., Tennessee Technological University


For the past seven year, a team of faculty from Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University (TTU) have been offering a course called ?Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS).? Having grown out of the integrated circuit (IC) revolution, MEMS fabrication shares similar elements with IC device production. Design of MEMS devices, however, are not limited to the domain of electrical engineering since they, by definition, incorporate elements of mechanical and chemical processing components. The TTU faculty team has explored a number of course concepts, incorporating true interdisciplinary activities with design as the centerpiece of the course. A survey of experiences illustrating the concepts of interdisciplinary training will be presented along with suggestions for an optimized course structure. The logistics of managing interdisciplinary student teams and teaching with a larger than typical number of co-instructors will also be discussed.