2023 ASEE Conference

The SHUTTLE lab will be attending the 2023 ASEE annual conference this year in Baltimore, Maryland. Members of our lab have published multiple papers at the conference this year, and their presentation topics and times can be seen listed below. We hope to see you at our presentations!

Megan Ennis Presenting “Work in Progress: Implementing an Orbital Debris Macroethics Lesson in a Junior-Level Spacecraft Dynamics Course”

Monday, June 26 @ 11:00am, Room 313 Baltimore Convention Center

In this work in progress, this paper reviews how a macroethics lesson was piloted within a junior-level spacecraft dynamics course in an undergraduate aerospace engineering program at the University of Michigan. The lesson introduces students to one macroethics topic, orbital debris, that directly connects to the “technical” topics of the course. We believe this socio-technical integration will stress to students that engineering cannot be separated from its societal impact. This paper reviews the lesson’s learning goal, class structure, and results of its execution, and provides a reflection on how this contributes to an overarching research project. We also assess students’ response to the lesson through closed- and open-ended survey questions.

Em Buten Presenting “Work in Progress: Are Project Teams Actually Developing Professional Skills?”

Monday, June 26 @ 11:00am, Room 320 Baltimore Convention Center

This work-in-progress research paper investigates how professional skills are developed on engineering project teams. Project teams, or engineering competition teams, are co-curricular student organizations that design and build a system based on competition guidelines that are typically set by engineering organizations. After the system is built there is usually a competition element that takes place between university teams. Professional skills are the non-technical abilities that individuals utilize to succeed in the professional world (e.g. communication, time management, creativity). Previous research has investigated the types, benefits, and necessity of professional skills for engineering students. Meanwhile many extra- and co-curricular activities, including project teams, have been cited as opportunities for students to develop professional skills. Even though these organizations are now popular amongst universities, the mechanisms in project teams that assist in the development of these skills are yet to be understood.

Betsy Strehl Presenting “Work in Progress: Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Macroethical Issues in Aerospace Engineering”

Tuesday, June 27 @ 9:15am, Ballroom 3 Baltimore Convention Center

This work-in-progress study explores student perceptions of ethics in undergraduate aerospace engineering. Macroethics education is a topic that has been traditionally left out of aerospace engineering undergraduate programs, often leaving students ill-equipped to assess and address the positive and negative impacts of their future career field on humanity. Defined as the teaching of collective social responsibility within the engineering profession and societal decisions about technology, macroethics helps novice engineers better understand the real implications of their work in society. Aerospace engineering has been historically dominated by white cis-gendered male students, and the privilege that this majority holds affects the lens through which students perceive macroethical concepts in the field. Thus, there is a vital need for macroethical concepts to be included in undergraduate aerospace engineering curricula.

Aaron Johnson Presenting “Graduate Student Myths: Interpreting the Ph.D. Student Experience Through the Lens of Social Media, Memes, and Stereotypes”

Wednesday, June 28 @ 11:00am, Room 312 Baltimore Convention Center

In graduate student-oriented online spaces, students often portray themselves as miserable, depicting these negative themes through combinations of text and images called memes. Memes in this context are a symbolic language that is used to convey cultural ideas through established templates that draw from pop-culture media and various youth subcultures. Through this medium, graduate students share and process their experiences communally, using memes as a coping mechanism. Collectively students tend to acknowledge that the culture around graduate school is bad; however, less is known about how students navigate and respond to this culture. In this paper we use a mixed method design to assess graduate student experience in relation to common stereotypes self-attributed by graduate students in public online communities.