Unit: Mechanical Engineering
Program: Mechanical Engineering (BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Tue Dec 11, 2012 - 12:23:46 am

1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.

 Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

a)   An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

b)  An ability to design and conduct experiments, analyze, and interpret data

c)   An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs

d)  An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

e)   An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

f)   An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

g)   An ability to communicate effectively

h)  The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a societal context

i)   A recognition of the need and an ability to engage in life-long learning

j)   A knowledge of Contemporary issues

k)  An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

ME Department Professional Components/Major Design Experience, PC1 & PC2, (Note: PCs are for Senior Design Courses:  ME 480, 481, & 482):

PC1:   A culminating design experience, that integrates knowledge and skills acquired throughout the curriculum

PC2:   The application of engineering standards and realistic constraints, including consideration of Economics, Environmental Sustainability, Manufacturability, Ethics, Health, Safety, Society, and Politics

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: 227
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA

3) Select one option:

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2012:

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 assessment activities between June 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012? (e.g., establishing/revising outcomes, aligning the curriculum to outcomes, collecting evidence, interpreting evidence, using results, revising the assessment plan, creating surveys or tests, etc.)

No (skip to question 14)

6) For the period June 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

a through k (see response to Question 1) are assessed.  The questions are: to what extent (on a scale 0 to 1) the SLO are achieved based on the learning experiences of the students and their performances either while they are at school (i.e., their performances in their course works) or on a job just after the graduation.

Surveys:  On a scale of 0-1, to what degree the Outcomes a-k were achieved?

Rubrics: Identify the performance of students in a class, who fall under the following categories (for achieving Outcomes a-k):  Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent (on a scale 1-4).

Exit Interviews:  Exit interviews of graduating students (Annually).

IAB/SAB Interviews:  Once in 2-3 semesters interviews of SAB by IAB

IAB:  Industry Advisory Board of the Department comprised of the Mechanical Engineers from the local and mainland companies.

SAB:  Student Advisory Board of the Department comprised of the Mechanical Engineering students at Senior & Junior levels, at UH Manoa.

7) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #6.

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 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 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 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 feedback 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 department office.

8) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

About 240 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.

9) 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)

10) 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)

11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.

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):

•        1)  Math 190 that provides Computer Language Fortran does not seem to be adequate (Assessment: Exit, SAB, IAB; & Rubrics).

•        2)  The ME Department has sophomore, junior, and senior design courses; however, a freshman design course is missing (Assessment: Exit, SAB & IAB).

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

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

•        5) More updated computers & software are needed for DME Courses with Laboratories (Exit, SAB, IAB, Employers).

•        6) More Lab space are needed for the DME Design Projects (Exit, SAB, IAB, Employers)

•        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).

12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.

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 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 are working together to renovate the ME Machine Shops.

•        4)  The ME Chair is utilizing, 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 this year.  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 are updating the computers in Holmes Hall 309 (for ME 213, ME 481, and ME 482) this year.

•        6)  The Chair has provided more Lab space for students’ projects in Holmes Hall 140 & 348.

•        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) has 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 raises 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.

•        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.

13) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries?
This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

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.

14) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.
Or, if the program did engage in assessment activities, please add any other important information here.

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.