Published in Innovations 2007: World Innovations in Engineering Education and Research, January 1, 2007.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Chen was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Starting in 2004, the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University introduced a new tool into its program: Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). The tool is used at different aspects ofeducation. As a coursework project, graduating ME seniors researched, designed, built, competed and reported with underwater ROVs to assess their design skills before heading out to start their careers. It tests a wide range of engineering background in one single project and gauges the soft skills such as teamwork, self-learning, communication and evaluation. As a student research project, a multidisciplinary student team developed a robotic field ROV to help biological scientists automatically sample or observe a water body. This project helped to attract talented students to further their education in graduate study. Meanwhile, the ROV also serves as an outreach tool to local high school students and the public.