Krishan Kumar Bhatia - Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
Engineering education programs now incorporate student participation through projects in what is known as the "paper-poster-presentation" paradigm. Those designs, however, are done on paper, and educators are trying to introduce the concept of "design-build-test" to help students learn by encountering problems, making mistakes, and overcoming them.
Although finite element analysis is usually absent from undergraduate courses, Dr Bhatia of Rowan University saw this as an opportunity to introduce students to a new skill. Even more, he saw it as a way to help them understand the fundamental physics and practical applications of the PDEs they saw in their textbooks, but never really embraced or even understood.
The live connection between SolidWorks and COMSOL Multiphysics, as well as the intuitive structure of the FEA software, allowed his students to concentrate on their designs rather than on the modeling itself.