Freshman design projects in the Foundation Coalition Conference Paper uri icon


  • Many talented engineering students abandon engineering before taking a single engineering course. Herded into large sections of `pre-engineering' mathematics, chemistry and physics courses, many students prove themselves academically but walk away from engineering, disillusioned. Numerous schools have instituted freshmen engineering courses to retain some of these capable but disinterested students in the engineering program. Freshman engineering courses spark students' interest by showing students that engineers communicate, lead, and create as well as analyze. One of the most successful ways of showing first-year students the diversity of skills needed to practice engineering is through freshman design projects. The authors have each selected three of their favorite fleshman design projects (a total of fifteen projects) and posted detailed descriptions on the web ( For those interested in learning a little background about the freshman programs in which these projects were used, please read on. This paper provides: a brief description of the fleshman programs at each school (the schools are participants in the NSF-sponsored Foundation Coalition), short summaries of each project, and answers to frequently asked questions about freshman design projects.

author list (cited authors)

  • Richardson, J., Corleto, C., Froyd, J., Imbrie, P. K., Parker, J., Roedel, R., ... IEEE, ..

publication date

  • December 1998