International Virtual Design Studio
With the emerging global environment, the requirements of today's engineers are expanding rapidly. Today engineers must be able to collaborate with their colleagues around the world. In response to this new demand, the idea of the International Virtual Design Studio (IVDS) emerged. The IVDS projects at Union College have included collaborations with the Middle East Technical University(METU) in Ankara, Turkey and Atilim University in Ankara, Turkey. In these projects students at Union communicated via the Internet to design, manufacture, and test engineering solutions to problems. The projects culminated with the Union students traveling to France and Turkey to submit their work for review, to participate in competitions, and to interact with their international counterparts.
The objectives of the projects are two-fold. First, they serve as models of collaborative design experiences between students in remote locations. Second, they give students a valuable international design experience in which they communicate with foreign students to design, construct, and test a vehicle.
Union - Atilim University IVDS
During the 2007-2008 academic year five students from Union participated in a collaborative project with students from Atilim University in Ankara, Turkey. The pictures on this page were taken during their adventures. Students, from left to right, are Michelle Rogers, Kaitlin Graham, Selin Whitham, Greg Kelly, and Matt Adams. Over 10 months the students designed, constructed, and tested an autonomous caterpillar that combined mechanical, electrical, and computer disciplines. They traveled to Turkey in June of 2008 to present and test their robot. They visited the capital of Turkey, Ankara, viewed the ruins in Cappadocia, and rubbed elbows with ancient history in Istanbul. All developed lifelong friendships, experienced great cuisine, and reveled in the nations's excitement for soccer. Professors Bucinell, Ramasubramanian, and Hodgson were advisors for the project.
Union - Middle East Technical University (METU) IVDS
The IVDS projects with METU have centered around the ME-407 Mechanical Engineering design course at METU. This course is structured in a competition format where students work as teams to build devices that conform to the competition guidelines. The competition criteria include common engineering performance criteria such as speed, power, and cost. Union students formed teams with METU students to design, over the Internet, a device to enter in the competition. Union students traveled to Turkey in January to enter their devices in the competition.