Unit: Mechanical Engineering
Program: Mechanical Engineering (BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Fri Nov 20, 2015 - 3:19:23 pm

1) Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs) and Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field)

2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze, and interpret data

(1a. General education, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research)

3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment, 3d. Civic participation)

4. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

(2c. Communicate and report)

5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research)

6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment)

7. An ability to communicate effectively

(2c. Communicate and report)

8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

(3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment)

9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

(3a. Continuous learning and personal growth)

10. A knowledge of Contemporary issues

(3c. Stewardship of the natural environment, 3d. Civic participation)

11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

(2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research)

2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: www.me.hawaii.edu
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 2014-2015 - College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, pp. 229-230
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www.me.hawaii.edu/undergraduateprogram.htm

3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2015:

4) For your program, the percentage of courses that have course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is as follows. Please update as needed.


5) Did your program engage in any program learning assessment activities between June 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015?

No (skip to question 16)

6) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period June 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015? (Check all that apply.)

Create/modify/discuss program learning assessment procedures (e.g., SLOs, curriculum map, mechanism to collect student work, rubric, survey)
Collect/evaluate student work/performance to determine SLO achievement
Collect/analyze student self-reports of SLO achievement via surveys, interviews, or focus groups
Use assessment results to make programmatic decisions (e.g., change course content or pedagogy, design new course, hiring)
Investigate curriculum coherence. This includes investigating how well courses address the SLOs, course sequencing and adequacy, the effect of pre-requisites on learning achievement.
Investigate other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 7)

7) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place in the last 18 months.

The data are continually collected at the end of each semester for every class.  In addition, exit interviews of graduating seniors are collected annually.  The Department’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) meets once in 2-3 semesters and is given an overview of the Department.  The IAB also meets with and interviews the Student Advisory Board (SAB) which is a committee composed of the student representatives from the Department's professional society.  Since many of the IAB members employ our graduates, they are able to provide a written assessment on both our program and the quality of our students.  The SAB also gives the Department feedback on the SLOs through written surveys.  In addition, the ASME judges, who are local professional mechanical engineers assess our SLOs through our final capstone senior design courses and provide a written assessment on both our program and the quality of our students.  Finally, our program goes through a rigorous national accreditation program by ABET (www.abet.org) at least once every six years.  Our last accreditation visit was in November 2009 and we received a full six-year accreditation, the highest possible.  Our next visit will be in November 22-24, 2015.  All students enrolled in a class are surveyed.  The results of the class surveys provide feedback to the instructors to enable them to institute changes, as needed.  Faculty direct assessments of the students through their score cards, performance criteria, and rubrics for the SLOs associated to their required courses are also used as feedback for the faculty to improve on the SLOs implementation and program continuous improvement to ensure that the students are instilled adequately with and trained properly on the SLOs associated with their courses.  The results of the exit interviews enable the chair to assign instructors to classes, modify the required classes, and institute changes in lab policies, etc.  Exit interviews cover approximately 50% of all graduating seniors.  Each instructor, the chair, and the accreditation committee examine the results for the class responses.  The chair collects the data and the assessment committee examines the data to provide input & feedback to the ME Faculty for implementing changes.  Data are collected in class settings, except for exit interviews where a one-on-one meeting of the graduating seniors and the chair are conducted in the Chair's office.

8) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 6? (Check all that apply.)

Direct evidence of student learning (student work products)

Artistic exhibition/performance
Assignment/exam/paper completed as part of regular coursework and used for program-level assessment
Capstone work product (e.g., written project or non-thesis paper)
Exam created by an external organization (e.g., professional association for licensure)
Exit exam created by the program
IRB approval of research
Oral performance (oral defense, oral presentation, conference presentation)
Portfolio of student work
Publication or grant proposal
Qualifying exam or comprehensive exam for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation (graduate level only)
Supervisor or employer evaluation of student performance outside the classroom (internship, clinical, practicum)
Thesis or dissertation used for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation
Other 1:
Other 2:

Indirect evidence of student learning

Alumni survey that contains self-reports of SLO achievement
Employer meetings/discussions/survey/interview of student SLO achievement
Interviews or focus groups that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Student reflective writing assignment (essay, journal entry, self-assessment) on their SLO achievement.
Student surveys that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Other 1:
Other 2:

Program evidence related to learning and assessment
(more applicable when the program focused on the use of results or assessment procedure/tools in this reporting period instead of data collection)

Assessment-related such as assessment plan, SLOs, curriculum map, etc.
Program or course materials (syllabi, assignments, requirements, etc.)
Other 1:
Other 2:

9) State the number of students (or persons) who submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.


About 368 students, over 10 different companies as employers of our graduates (including, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, HECO, Pearl Harbor, etc.), 10 alumni, 3 ASME Judges, 10 IAB members, 10 SAB members, 40 senior students, 14 faculty, ABET Evaluators, etc.  The following explains the sampling techniques used for our Assessments:


I. Internal Assessments:


1. Student Teaching Evaluations (Indirect)

2. Student Assessments on Program Objectives and Outcomes (Indirect)

3. Student Exit Interviews (Direct)

4. Student Advisory Board, SAB, (Indirect)

5. Faculty Score Cards, Performance Criteria, Rubrics (Direct)

6. Course Portfolios (Direct)


II. External Assessments:


1. Industry Advisory Board, IAB, (Direct)

2. Employers of our graduates (Direct)

3. Alumni (Indirect)

4. Capstone Senior Design Evaluation by the ASME Senior Section (Direct)

5. Employers’ Comparative Assessments (Direct)

6. Career Placement (Direct)

7. National Contests (Direct)

8. ABET visit (every 3-6 years, depending on the granted accreditation).  We received a 6-year accreditation in 2009, until 2015.

10) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)

Course instructor(s)
Faculty committee
Ad hoc faculty group
Department chairperson
Persons or organization outside the university
Faculty advisor
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)
Other: Also, Department ABET (Accreditation) Committee & its Chair [The Mechanical Engineering ABET committee interprets the SLOs evidences for each course through student surveys and the faculty score cards/performance criteria/and rubrics of a- through k listed in Question 2. In addition, the SLOs are evaluated by Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members through the evaluation of our student performance by Student Advisory Board (SAB) presentations, IAB/SAB meeting, faculty presentations and laboratory tours. Further, the SLOs and a major design experience are assessed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) local senior section. Also, employers of our graduates assess their performance in their organizations and provide performance feedback to the Department. Finally, the Chair of the Department conducts exit interviews covering the SLOs and anything else the students wish to discuss. The results obtained from IAB/SAB/ASME/Employers/Alumni/Exit Interviews/Students/Faculty are also interpreted by the ME ABET committee and the ME faculty are provided feedback for curriculum improvement. The Assessment results are shared with the Department ABET Committee, Faculty, and IAB. The results are also analyzed by the Department ABET Committee and presented to the Faculty and IAB. In joint ABET Committee-Faculty-IAB meetings, the results are further analyzed and evaluated, and then solutions for program improvements are proposed, evaluated, and finalized for implementations.]

11) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)

Used a rubric or scoring guide
Scored exams/tests/quizzes
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)
Other: [The faculty use Rubrics for SLOs evaluations. The faculty use their exams as the basis for completing their Rubrics. We also invite Professional Mechanical Engineers at the end of each academic year to judge our students skills in terms of our program SLOs and to determine to what extend our SLOs are achieved by judging the performance of our students in a Capstone Senior Design Course which is the culmination of all ME courses where our students use their skills to develop a real-world working prototype from conceptualization to realization and in projects such as the development of a Single Rider All-Train Vehicle (Mini Baja, which is a small mountain car), Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars), Single Rider Racing Vehicle (Formula Car), SuperMileage (Single Rider Fuel Efficient Light Weight Composite Vehicle), Aero Designs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, UAV; and Micro Aerial Vehicle, MAV), Human Powered Vehicle (HPV), Biomedical Devices, Rehabilitation Devices, Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, Wave Energy Device, etc. These competitions include: Professional Technical Presentations of the Design, Hardware Demonstrations & Evaluations, and a Poster Session & Interviews. We also collect and compile surveys from students (every semester). The Department Chair conducts Exit Interviews of the graduating seniors annually on the design, implementation, and achievements of our Department SLOs. Also, we ask the Senior Section ASME-Hawaii Section to participate in our year-end Capstone Senior Design Competition Judgment and Program Evaluation, as well as their participation in our IAB (Industry Advisory Board) that meets once in 2-3 semesters.]

12) Summarize the results of the assessment activities checked in question 6. For example, report the percent of students who achieved each SLO.

Through the evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of the results obtained employing the Assessment Tools explained in Questions 5 through 10, the following Problems were identified:


PROBLEMS (Identified through Assessments) & Associate Solutions:

1)  Math 190 that provides Computer Language Fortran does not seem to be adequate (Assessment: Exit, SAB, IAB; & Rubrics).  Math 190 is replaced by EE 160, or EE 110, or ICS 111.

2)  The ME Department has sophomore, junior, and senior design courses; however, a freshman design course is missing (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  The College of Engineering is providing a coures calkled Engr 101 to address this issue

3) The laboratory condition in the ME Machine Shop are outdated and need renovations (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  The laboratory conditions are now upgraded

4) The machineries and tools in the DME Machine Shop need to be updated for the DME students course projects (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  The equipment are now upgraded.

5) More updated computers & software are needed for DME Courses with Laboratories (Exit, SAB, IAB, Employers).  The Computer Hardware and Software are now upgraded.

6) More Lab space are needed for the DME Design Projects (Exit, SAB, IAB, Employers).  Some additional lab spaces are provided by the College and the Department.

7)  There is Faculty Shortage in teaching Hands-on courses as well as sufficient courses (including technical electives) for students to be able to graduate timely (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).

8)  Due to increase in number of students, more sections of the same course needs to be offered for the students to be able to graduate timely (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  More sections and larger class sizes are now available.

9)  More Modern Tools are needed for ME Labs (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  More modern tools are now added to the labs.

10)  More Access to ME Labs are needed (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  We now have Lab Monitors for most commonly used labs.

11)  Inadequacy in the knowledge of Math, Phys, & Chemistry (Assessment: Rubrics, Faculty Meetings).  We have now raised the minimum passing grades for these courses that are pre-requisite for ME Courses to C or better.

12)  Inadequacy in the knowledge of basic ME Courses (Assessment: Rubrics, Faculty Meetings).  We have raised the passing grades for Cee 270, ME 271, and ME 311 to C or better.

13)  Pre-reqs issues in ME Courses (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).  Resolved Math 244 and Math 353 pre-req issues.  Also, see Item 11.

14) Due to increase in enrollment in ME we have streamlined our courses and laboratories, and attached the relevant laboratories to associate courses to offer our laboratories more efficiently and effectively.

15) The students compalied that they are not well prepared by prior course for the Capstone Senior Design Courses.  Hence, one of the instructosr of our Senior Design Courses with 24 years of experience has upgraded our Sophomre design course (ME 213) in terms of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Compute Aided Manufacturing (CAM), 3D Printer, and also the junior manufacturing course ME 342 is upgraded to include CAD & CAM to better equip our students for the Capstone Senior Design Courses (ME 481/482) and we call this Vertically Integrated Program in Education (VIP-Education).

13) What best describes how the program used the results? (Check all that apply.)

Assessment procedure changes (SLOs, curriculum map, rubrics, evidence collected, sampling, communications with faculty, etc.)
Course changes (course content, pedagogy, courses offered, new course, pre-requisites, requirements)
Personnel or resource allocation changes
Program policy changes (e.g., admissions requirements, student probation policies, common course evaluation form)
Students' out-of-course experience changes (advising, co-curricular experiences, program website, program handbook, brown-bag lunches, workshops)
Celebration of student success!
Results indicated no action needed because students met expectations
Use is pending (typical reasons: insufficient number of students in population, evidence not evaluated or interpreted yet, faculty discussions continue)

14) Please briefly describe how the program used the results.

The following explains the corrective actions that the DME has taken to resolve the Problems explained in Question 11, and are presented in the following as the Solutions.  Each Solution Number in this section (i.e., Question 12) corresponds to the same Problems Number explained in the previous section (i.e., Question 11).

SOLUTIONS (the numbers here correspond to those in the PROBLEMS one-to-one) (Evaluation and Improvements of the Program):

1)  The ME Department and the College of Engineering are working together to add a fresh man design course (Engr 101) that also include Matlab computer programming.

2)  The ME Department and the College of Engineering are working together to add a fresh man design course that also include Matlab computer programming.

3)  The ME Department and the College of Engineering renovated the ME Machine Shops.

4)  The ME Chair utilized, the Engineering Fees, College Banquet Fundraising Funds, and Department Funds to renovate the machinery and tools in the ME Machine Shop.  Two new Lath, two new milling, as well as new drilling and band saw machines have been purchased and installed.  We have purchased modern tools in Thermofluids areas, as well as 3D Printer in the areas of Design and Manufacturing/Maker capabilities.  We are in the process of purchasing additional tools as well.

5)  We have upgraded our software in our computer labs.  First, Solid Works (with COSMOS and COMSOL for FEA Analysis) in ME 213 (Sophomore Design), ME 481 & ME 482 (Senior Design).  Second, ANSYS FLUENT (with Computational Fluids Dynamic capabilities for FEA Analysis) in ME 481 & ME 482 (this is in addition to an existing FEA software on solid modeling and structural analysis, i.e., ANSYS).  Third, ANSYS DYNA3D (with Structural Dynamic, Crash, and Impact Analysis capabilities for FEA Analysis) in ME 481 & ME 482 (this is in addition to an existing FEA software on solid modeling and structural analysis, i.e., ANSYS).  In addition, the computers in Holmes Hall 308 (for ME 342, ME 402, and ME 480) have been updated last year; and we have updated the computers in Holmes Hall 309 (for ME 213, ME 481, and ME 482) this year.

6)  Due to increase in our enrollment we have received more laboratory spaces in Holmes Hall 140A and 140B in addition to Holmes Hall 140.  Therefore, the Chair has provided more Lab space for students’ projects in Holmes Hall 140, 140A, 140B, & 348.  In addition, Holmes 308 & 309 are used more effectively; but more space is needed (we hope to be resolved with the Holmes Hall Renovation).

7) The Faculty Shortage in teaching Hands-on courses and sufficient courses for the students’ timely graduation (Assessment: IAB, SAB, Exit Interview, ABET 2009 visit) is partially resolved by hiring two new assistant professors in Fall 2011 and a third one by Spring 2012.  The number of Faculty in the Department was 13 at the time of ABET Visit in Nov. 2009 and we pointed out to ABET that the Department should receive 3 more faculty to bring the number of faculty to 16.  The number of faculty was reduced to 11, in Fall 2010, due to one faculty resignation and another faculty retirement.  The three new assistant professors in the Department raise the number of faculty from 11 in Fall 2010 to 14 by Spring 2012.  According to our ABET visit of Nov. 2009, we need two more faculty positions.  Although, the Dean’s office is committed to give DME additional two positions; however, due to the economic down-turn, these positions are contingent to the availability of funds.  In addition, Dean’s Office provided some funds to the Departments in the College to hire some lecturers and graders to offer more courses and help with more sections of the courses, but the shortage of sufficient faculty in ME still exist; particularly, with recent increase in undergraduate enrollment in ME, from 240 in Fall 2011 to 367 in Fall 2014, this could pose some problems in the near future.

8)  Due to increase in number of students, more sections of the same course need to be offered for the students to be able to graduate timely.  Therefore, by the hire of new assistant professors, as well as lecturers and graders, we have been able to remedy some of the problems associated with insufficient courses and sections offering for the students to graduate in time; however, the Department is still in need of 2 additional faculty to bring the faculty count to 16, as stated in the 2009 Accreditation (ABET) self-study report and emphasized during the 2009 ABET visit in November 2009; particularly, with recent increase in undergraduate enrollment in ME, from 240 in Fall  2011 to 388 in Fall 2015, this could pose some problems in the near future.  We are now offering all the required undergraduate courses every semester and all the instructional labs in two sections per semester, and to carry these additiona lab sections, we have received additional Teaching Assistants.  But, we have combined relevant laboratories with associated courses to offer our labs more efficiently and effectively.

9)  We have added the following modern tools to our Labs this year:

Additive Manufacturing/3D Printers;

 Vibration Set up

 IR Camera

 PIV System

 2 CFD Software

 Impact & Crashworthiness Software

Additional maching tools

10)  The Chair has hired Lab Monitors for the Lab to extend the access to the ME Labs.

11)  We raised the pre-req requirements for Phys, Math, and Chemistry course to C or better.

12)  We raised the pre-req requirements for basic ME knowledge related courses for the following basic courses:  CEE 270, CEE271/ME 271, and ME 311.

13)  We resolved the pre-reqs issues in ME Courses by allowing that MATH 253 be accepted for MATH 244 requirements.

14) We combined the relevant courses and laboratories to offer our labs more effectively and efficiently.

15) We used a Vertically Integrated Program (VIP) Education to better prepare students for the Senior Design Courses (ME 481/482) by restructuring our sophome design and junior manufacturing courses as well as the ingration of Compute Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Vertically into the Curriculum from ME 213 to ME 342 to ME 481 & 482.




15) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, and great achievements regarding program assessment in this reporting period.

Overall, the Assessment tools have been effective in identifying the existing problems in our department so that the solutions for program improvements can be found with the help of our constituents (i.e., Faculty, IAB, SAB, Students, Employers, and Alumni) employing our assessments, analyses, evaluation, and implementation of the improvements mechanisms to achieve continuous improvement explained in previous sections.  In addition, based on our accreditation team (ABET 2009 visit team members and evaluator) recommendations in November 2009, who identified that the Rubrics performed by our faculty to assess the students on the SLOs, were not direct and objective and they required more objective and direct use of Rubrics (such as use of Rubrics as a grading tool for grading homework, exams, projects, etc.), we have modified and been implementing such techniques to remedy this issue.

16) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.

Our last Accreditation Visit was in November 2009.  The comments were to use more direct and objective ways to implement the Rubric, to ensure that the Department budget is sufficient to operate the Department effectively and hire new needed faculty, and to ensure that there are not disparities and inequities in terms of salaries among the College of Engineering Faculty Salaries. 

We have Assessment Tools in place (as explained in this report) and according to the ABET need to perform continuous program assessments, analyses, evaluations, implementations, and program improvements.  Therefore, this is an on-going and recurring process and the mentioned issue is resolved.  However, the issues on the hire of new needed faculty, and to ensure that there are not disparities and inequities in terms of salaries among the College of Engineering Faculty Salaries, still exist.  In addition, although Engineering Laboratory Fees were used in the past to upgrade the lab equipment, but recent UH and College Budget short falls have also negatively affected our Eng Fees availabilities, since most of it are used for Supporting Lab courses such as TAs, etc.  Finally, due to increase in enrollemnt in ME the class and laboratory spaces are marginally adequate and we need more spaces, particularly for our labs.