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Proceedings Paper

Real-world educational experience through project-oriented graduate classes in collaboration with industry
Author(s): Thomas H. Zurbuchen
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Paper Abstract

There is a need for a motivated and innovative work force for the U.S. aerospace industry. The education of such engineers and scientists typically revolves around a fundamental knowledge of basic important technologies, such as the mechanics relevant to orbit-design, structures, avionics, and many others. A few years ago, the University of Michigan developed a Masters of Engineering program that provides students with skills that are not taught as part of a typical engineering curriculum. This program is focused on open problem solving, space systems, and space policy, as well as other classes that further their understanding of the connections between technologies and the nontechnical aspects of managing a space mission. The value of such an education is substantially increased through a direct connection to industry. An innovative problem-oriented approach has been developed that enables direct connections between industry and classroom teaching. The class works as a system study group and addresses problems of interest to and defined by a company with a specific application. We discuss such an application, a near-space lidar wind measurement system to enhance weather predictions, as well as the approach taken to link educational rationales.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6555, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications, 65550N (3 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.721744
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas H. Zurbuchen, Univ. of Michigan (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6555:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications
Richard T. Howard; Robert D. Richards, Editor(s)

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