Mentorship and Performance Assessment of Design Teams in Transportation-Related Projects
Educational research shows that personal growth is most profound in an environment that combine challenging real-world problems, people with multi-tiered experience, sound leadership, and a dynamic setting in which to interact. Mentoring at many levels plays a critical role in this process. At the University of Idaho, we have begun to create this type of learning community in many ways such as the Idaho Engineering Works, the Future Truck Project, NIATT Traffic Signal Summer Camp, and the Enriched Learning Environment Project. The purpose of this project is to explicitly support educational efforts connected with transportation-related design projects. This will result in enhanced capabilities of our graduate and undergraduate mentors and will provide performance assessment tools and training models that can be adapted for use in the transportation industry. We will synergize activities in NIATT and the Idaho Engineering Works with ongoing grants in engineering pedagogy as well as manufacturing extension activities of Idaho TechHelp. We also intend to seek monetary, in-kind, and collaborative support from organizations in the transportation industry (Boeing, AutoLiv, Ford, and General Motors) and organizations responsible for student vehicle competitions (SAE, Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory). These partnerships will also be essential in transferring innovations in design education to the transportation industry.