2018 FYEE Conference

“Full Paper: Stimulate PRIDE* in Freshmen with Reverse Engineering”

Presented at Technical Session III

New Jersey Institute of Technology at Newark NJ (NJIT) has introduced a systemic change in the first year of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) program since 2011. NJIT has introduced ‘Reverse Engineering’ as part of the curriculum for the entering freshmen with Mechanical Engineering as their major. The MIE educational staffs have efficiently blended reverse engineering with the existing Fundamentals of Engineering Design-101 (FED-101) curriculum, which has yielded rewarding results. The sense of accomplishment, which the freshmen experience in their Reverse Engineering projects, is propelling them to excel in the next four years of undergraduate education.

The implementation of reverse engineering at NJIT has been refined over the past seven years and is now at a mature stage. The several phases involve, but not limited to the following: team formation, establishing a project plan & PERT, project selection, product acquisition, disassembly, establishing a design task plan, patent search, historical patent research, understanding the product, materials & manufacturing methods, preparing a product description, CAD modeling, producing a comprehensive report, and showcasing to judges from local industry. Some teams indulge in lightning podium presentations. The entire class also publishes a comprehensive showcase brochure consisting of all product descriptions. Each team pursuing a different product for reverse engineering offers ample room for individuality and innovation. Palpable surge in their self-esteem is typically and invariably evident after the showcase presentation.

Incidental course evaluation at the end of the semester has revealed distinct improvement in retention. This program has facilitated students identify their possible aptitude mismatch for their chosen major at an early stage, helping them to initiate corrective action in their first semester. By exposing the freshmen to the values of Purpose, Responsibility, Individuality, Determination and Excellence, this non-pedagogical approach of teaching through Reverse Engineering indeed breeds PRIDE in our students.

This paper presents a time-tested systematic approach to implement Reverse Engineering.
* PRIDE is an acronym for Purpose, Responsibility, Individuality, Determination, and Excellence

  1. Prof. I. Joga Rao New Jersey Institute of Technology [biography]
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