Ivana Milanovic, Sunil Kumar, Tom A. Eppes, Kalyan Goparaju

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work aims to demonstrate one of the pathways in which industry certification in simulation technology can be a part of the lecture course. We explore the intersection between the rigorous theoretical approach to technical topics and the educational method that brings digital engineering into the curriculum. The objective is to improve student readiness for entry into the workforce by better integrating theoretical' and application-oriented' approaches to learning. Industry certifications verify professional competence in tandem with a professional degree or work experience. The certification is typically a document stating that an individual was trained and prepared to meet a specific set of criteria. This document is awarded after passing the assessment administered by a recognized credentialing entity. The Ansys Associate Certification in simulation technology with Fluent as the software was successfully implemented in the three-credit lecture course. While students were assigned simulation projects from the beginning of the semester, the certification was conducted in two segments, simulations and theory, close to the end of the semester. First, the industry partner described the problem that required students to perform a simulation and respond to a given set of questions within a week. Upon the successful completion of this task, participants had to do one more simulation challenge. Finally, students had to pass an in-class exam on the material. The certification outcome (pass/no pass) did not influence the final grade for the course. Our study builds upon the authors' previous work on the use of simulations in lecture courses and course sequences. We introduce simulation assignments in addition to the classical pencil & paper assignments, without teaching or requiring prior knowledge of finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics concepts. This educational method relies on the flexible learning space supported by an online learning management system and incorporates inquiry-based learning. Computational tools are used outside the classroom, while the experiences, competencies, and skills are brought back to the classroom. This approach can be replicated in any science or engineering curriculum with significant benefits such as: (1) improving students' ability to translate mathematical answers into physical interpretations and translate physical situations into the correct mathematical descriptions, (2) increasing the time students invest in studying, and (3) providing students with an opportunity to earn an industry-recognized certification in simulation technology as a part of their coursework. The concept of integrated analog' and digital' learning and its results are illustrated with qualitative and quantitative evidence. Qualitative data provide samples of student work and testimonials, while quantitative assessments include grades, surveys, and course evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngineering Education
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791887653
StatePublished - 2023
EventASME 2023 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2023 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2023Nov 2 2023

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


ConferenceASME 2023 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • Ansys Fluent
  • Assessment
  • Industry Certification
  • Simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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