Promoting engineering education using a state-of-the-art research facility

Grace Altimus, Dacheng Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review


With the mission to solve problems, engineers have created numerous technologies, products, and infrastructures that have transformed our society by improving human life and saving the environment. In this new century, we have entered an even more exciting era with unprecedented opportunities for engineers to keep pushing the limit by finding new sources of renewable energy, seeking cures for previously untreatable diseases, and building systems with extremely high efficiency and accuracy. To meet the demand of modern industries and global competition, it is important to update our curricula and include more advanced topics. To transform engineering education, we developed new course modules and enhanced outreach activities using a state-of-the-art research facility. Specifically, we aimed to create synergy among teaching, research, and outreach using a core facility of flow cytometry funded through the MRI program of NSF. A high-end cell sorter and a flow cytometer were used to enhance teaching and outreach. This facility was used in the junior class of Biological Principles for Engineers. A guest lecture was given by the facility operator to introduce the principles of flow cytometry and cell labeling; and a hands-on lab was designed to use the cell sorter to quantitatively follow bacterial horizontal gene transfer in a model system. These new modules allowed the students to learn cutting edge technologies at first hand and helped them understand not only the knowledge, but also the societal issues related to bacterial antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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