Introduction to Engineering Design and Programming

Students at Gatorbot competition.

Students in the Gator Engineering at Santa Fe program will take part in EGN 1935, Introduction to Engineering Design and Programming, taught at Santa Fe College by Dr. Philip Jackson, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering faculty member, just for them. This class allows students hands-on experience in a collaborative working group environment and will provide “real engineering” and transferrable skills prior to starting their upper-division (junior- and senior-level) classes. Students will gain experience in design software, such as Solid Works, thus giving them an advantage in their other classes and increasing their marketability when searching for a job or internship.

I had never been part of a design project before, and it was a great learning experience. With this head start, I was able to excel in both my studies and involvement. – Andrew Schwartz, Gator Civil Engineering student

The course is taught from a general engineering perspective in such a way that relates to all engineering majors. The culmination of the engineering design project will involve both individual and group elements and will be relatively open-ended so that groups may tailor their final projects in a direction to their collective liking. Specific attention will be paid to how design engineers must be aware of larger societal issues, such as sustainability, environmental impact, and the benefits of social improvement through technical achievement, rather than working alone in a “vacuum.” Students interested in entrepreneurial endeavors will find value in discussions of intellectual property, business creation, and innovation opportunities in the UF community (and elsewhere).

I was introduced to sketching 3D models on the computer, programming, and building a robot all in one summer. It was surprising to me how fun all the work involved was. We got to experience creating a professional presentation, and putting everything we had learned over the summer into one final project. Each group was in charge of designing and programming a robot together to enter into the competition. Not only did I learn a lot while working on the project, but I also had a great time doing it. – Nicole Gillis, Gator Mechanical Engineering student

Check out a video of the final design competition from a similar design class taught by Dr. Dickrell during the summer 2012 term. This final competition involved patients at Shands Children Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, selecting the winning toy design.