By nature, EDAB tackles sensitive projects. If you are interested in any of the following projects, please contact us and we can provide you with our full White Paper or Initiative on that topic.
EDAB is currently investigating the reasons why Engineers choose the classes that they do. Through this, we hope to uncover insight on phenomena such as the pressure for freshman to get into Wharton, whether Engineers are given enough opportunities to explore, and whether engineers are well prepared for life after college.
Club funding audit
EDAB has received feedback that numerous engineering clubs, such as design-and-build clubs or volunteering clubs, do not have adequate funding. We are investigating funding from ESAC, SAC, and the Engineering School, and will propose changes to increase the availability of funding.
EDAB is aware that little facilities exist for color printing in Engineering, that printing credit does not roll over for engineers, and that scanning facilities are lacking in engineering buildings. As such, EDAB is working with CETS to address these issues.
EDAB is investigating ways that the Engineering school can be more sustainable from the perspective of students - such as reducing waste, addressing unnecessary printing for projects, and more robust recycling measures.
The purpose of this project is to help Penn Engineers build their careers during their time at Penn. EDAB is looking into pop-up shops in Engineering by Career Services Staff so that engineers can conveniently ask any questions. In addition, EDAB is auditing career fairs to determine whether engineering companies are adequately represented.
Office hour availability
This project seeks to understand whether office hours are accessible to students. With many office hours located in the afternoon, they can often conflict with classes. They can also be particularly inconvenient for FGLI students that might have to work in the afternoons. EDAB is gauging the feasibility of moving office hours to later in the evening.
IMPROVING THE RAPID PROTOTYPING LABORATORY
The RPL often operates at peak capacity. The lines, which are worst when MEAM design classes assign due dates, force some students into laser cutting their projects well past midnight. This creates unnecessary annoyance and stress. EDAB is considering ways to ameliorate this issue.
Social Spaces initiative
There is a distinct lack of social spaces in engineering, which can reduce engineering pride or curtail interaction between engineering students. To solve this problem, EDAB has encouraged the administration to use Levine Lobby as a social space - adding tables and chairs that students can study at. We are working with the administration on more ways to make Engineering a homelike space for students.
EDAB seeks to understand how the faculty and administration currently understand student perspectives, and if that current understanding actually reflects an accurate depiction of student motivations.
Understanding Student Goals
The purpose of this project was to make studying abroad easier and more feasible for Penn Engineers. The project identified a lack of information as an obstacle to students intending to study abroad: regular and well-publicized infosessions have now been implemented each semester to inform students of their options. In addition, EDAB worked with study abroad staff to audit the options available and suggest more where possible.
Study Abroad Audit
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of undergraduate TAs and improve upon it. As a result of this project, semesterly workshops providing all undergraduate TAs with the proper training and skills to teach, guide, and mentor fellow students have started.
EDAB has been working on creating short videos of current students sharing their thoughts about “Why Penn Engineering?” and what their favorite thing about Penn Engineering is. These videos would be available to prospective students to help them understand more about Penn Engineering, and why it is a great place to be!
The purpose of this project was to explore how more rooms in Penn Engineering can be opened up for students use in ways of silent study, group study, group projects, and extracurricular activities. As a result of this project, more classrooms were open to student group study use during Spring 2016.
Engineering Classroom Audit
With new trends in the educational space, we worked on evaluating the effectiveness of Active Learning classes in Penn Engineering.
Active Learning Audit
This project aimed to evaluating how space is used in the engineering quad and determine if it is being utilized in an efficient manner. Studying individually and in groups is essential for the Penn Engineer, and thus we must make sure that the spaces we offer are both functional and enjoyable.
Study Spaces Audit
EDAB looked into trademarking the school more in the Engineering students’ eyes by identifying frequented areas and pursuing image branding there.
Penn Engineering Branding Initiative
Senior Design is vital to the Penn Engineering curriculum; however, the logistic differences between departments make it difficult for students to complete a project not within their department. This project sought to create an opportunity in the Engineering curriculum for students to have more flexibility in their Senior Design projects, and be able to exercise their interdisciplinary creativity.
While Penn Engineering has produced many accomplished alumni, SEAS students often do not have access to this wealth of knowledge and experience. Our first networking event drew 50+ SEAS student leaders and 10+ alumni. With future events like these, the SEAS Alumni project hopes to encourage more alumnus-student interactions by integrating events and fostering connections between the two groups.
The in-major faculty adviser is a valuable source of support and wisdom for engineering undergraduates. EDAB wants to make the advising process more accessible and intuitive for both student and faculty. We hope to make faculty advising an integral part of the SEAS Undergraduate experience. Academic advising quick tips were introduced to the student body. Tailored specifically to each school year’s academic needs, these “cheat sheets” were integrated into the Undergraduate Handbook on the Engineering website.
This project is aimed at helping the typical engineering freshman assimilate better in the SEAS and Penn community. EDAB worked with the New Student Orientation programming in Engineering to develop an improved OPA! peer advising program. Academic and social survival guides are also in development-with eventual distribution to all the SEAS freshmen.
OPA! and 7 SEAS Survival Guide
Originally, EDAB’s Green Initiative was an initiative to install approximately six to twelve urban-scale wind turbines on or around SEAS buildings. These turbines would serve as a highly visible symbol of the roll engineering plays in the long-term sustainability of our planet and as a reminder of Penn’s commitment to sustainable practices.
Though this project didn’t produce wind turbines, it did give rise to the creation of an undergraduate group dedicated to making SEAS more environmentally friendly. The group, SEAS Green, aims to raise environmental awareness in the engineering school.
SEAS Green Initiative
Done every three years, the SEAS white paper is a systematic and comprehensive survey of the current state of Penn Engineering in hopes of best identifying the school’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. In creating this White Paper, members of EDAB worked with other student leaders, administrators, and faculty to analyze Penn Engineering’s policies, programs, and strategic goals. We combined student opinions with faculty insight to generate realistic and efficient initiatives while helping the SEAS administration best focus their efforts.
Our assessment divided our focus into three overarching themes which define undergraduate life and the school’s identity. The first of these was the central role of academics, research and professional development in Penn Engineering. The second theme focused on the critical function of community experiences and social interaction in undergraduate life. The final theme related to Penn Engineering’s big-picture goals and long-term strategic positioning.
SEAS White Paper
EDAB hosted the first annual SEAS Service Day, which is a single day each semester where engineering students come together to complete a service project in the Philadelphia community. This last year, for the first Service Day, EDAB partnered with UC Green to plant trees throughout West Philadelphia.
SEAS Service Day
The Engineering website has a wealth of information students can utilize. This project is aimed at finding out how undergraduate students use the current website.
In keeping up with the ongoing trend of online, interactive education techniques, EDAB audited undergraduates in their learning preferences. Through this project, we sought to learn how to better students’ educational training.
Technology and Education
EDAB wanted to make it easier for engineers to have greater access to the treasure trove of programs provided by our school. Working with talented technical staff, EDAB expanded the CETS Virtual Lab, providing more fully-loaded computers to students in their dorm rooms. We also worked with College House Computing to provide Matlab, a powerful programming utility, on all of the computers in the College Houses.
Cloud Computing Initiative
EDAB’s Dining Options project aimed to improve the dining experience in the engineering school. Often, engineering students find themselves working late nights in the engineering buildings, using tools and software that they cannot access elsewhere. Unfortunately, at this time there are few late night dining options in and around the engineering school. The Accenture Cafe now hosts a hot drinks vending machine that SEAS students can use 24/7, as well as new decor and improved seating.
Engineering Food Options
The Room Reservation System project was rooted in the fact that there are several different administrators that must be contacted in order to reserve a room in the Engineering school depending on their location. More importantly, there was no centralized list of the appropriate contact for each conference space. In addition, it was not clear which rooms may be reserved for student use. To facilitate the process students must follow in order to reserve a conference room for group study or other meetings and to clarify in particular which rooms may be reserved, EDAB sought to help establish an on-line Room Reservation System. The anticipated users of such a system included student groups, students, and faculty.
This system was implemented in the fall of 2010 and has been a fantastic resource for clubs and students searching for space.
Room Reservation System
Designed to promote research among the top 5-10% of SEAS undergraduate students, the Rachleff Scholars Program is committed to getting its scholars hooked on research early and enmeshed in a vibrant network of faculty and student researchers that will keep them moving forward. EDAB provided the impetus for the creation of this SEAS-specific honors program and worked with the Undergraduate Affairs Committee for two years to make it a reality.