Jeffrey Donnell, Professor of the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, visited MSE from March 17 to 25. Invited by MSE Prof. Hu Youmin of the Department of Mechatronic Engineering, Prof. Donnell’s visit was part of an academic exchange and a series of lectures.
From March 18 to 23, Prof. Donnell taught the course “Mechatronics Creative Decision and Design” to MSE sophomores. His humorous teaching style made the whole learning process more enjoyable. Students were encouraged to think independently and discuss questions they came across during their study. Prof. Donnell’s lectures were a fruitful experience to all students.
On the morning of March 22, Prof. Donnell made a presentation entitled “The Redesign of a Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Laboratory”. He said that the previous procedure-driven teaching has fostered profuse student complaints, and is less likely to uncover students’ potential. However, allowing students to enter the lab and explore fun in mechanical science could guide them to think more actively and deeply, hence cultivate their creativity. Prof. Donnell also advocated improving lab infrastructures and fostering students’ experimental ability, which will provide them more opportunities to think in practice and complete tasks with teamwork.
After the presentation, MSE teachers communicated with Prof. Donnell on the performance of Chinese and American students in class, and discussed how to further improve students’ class involvement. They agreed that having students entering the lab early helps to groom their problem-solving ability and their interests.
Prof. Donnell’s visit has promoted academic exchanges between Georgia Institute of Technology and MSE, and enlightened MSE teachers and students with new teaching ideas.