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The power of undergraduate research

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4 Author(s)

Over the years, the power engineering program at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM) has prepared engineers to deal successfully with industry challenges. An important strategy in a power engineering curriculum renovation has been to give a more prominent role to undergraduate research. A new Energy Systems Instrumentation Laboratory (ESIL) has been established at UPRM to support the integration of undergraduate research within the power curriculum. ESIL is both a physical space and a teaching philosophy. It occupies two laboratory spaces at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, and it is also an environment where students are active participants in the learning process. Undergraduate research projects at ESIL provide an opportunity for students to study in detail theoretical concepts presented in class, improve their understanding of engineering principles and applications, and explore the frontiers of knowledge in power engineering. The ESIL also fosters the integration of teaching and research and the development of new teaching methods for the improvement of undergraduate education. This is done by adapting the results from projects to courses in the form of demonstrations and laboratory practices. Research projects also provide measurable outcomes of student work that can be used to comply with new ABET accreditation criteria.

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Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )