Department of Aerospace and
Mechanical Engineering

Gretar Tryggvason: Educational Activities

Professor Tryggvason has a longstanding interest in engineering education. While at the University of Michigan he chaired a departmental committee that developed plans for extensive curriculum changes (commonly referred to as the four by four by eight model) and as associate department chair he supervised the implementation of the new curriculum. The new Michigan curriculum is described in [1]. He also co-taught a new course on design and manufacturing [2] and served on a College committee that instigated a number of changes, including the introduction of a first year engineering course.

At WPI, Prof. Tryggvason was one of three people responsible for the establishment of the first US undergraduate program in robotics engineering [8-13]. The program was an instant success, almost immediately becoming one of the larges engineering major on Campus. He was also involved in the introduction of joint degrees with oversees institutions, the introduction of a BA degree in liberal arts and engineering [4], and a course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship [14].

Tryggvason has participated in numerous meetings on engineering education and was the general chair of the ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Education Conference. He has helped design and implement departmental assessment programs and overseen four ABET visits (two at the University of Michigan and two at WPI—all leading to six year accreditation). In addition, professor Tryggvason has written and given lectures on the future of engineering education. His JOM paper with Diran Apelian [6] has been reprinted in EEE Engineering Management Review and translated into Chinese. Most recently, he co-edited a book on engineering education [15] and contributed two chapters. The introductory chapter is available here.

Publications on Engineering Education

  1. G. Tryggvason, M. Thouless, D. Dutta, S. L. Ceccio, and D. M. Tilbury. "The New Mechanical Engineering Curriculum at the University of Michigan." Journal of Engineering Education 90 (2001), 437-444.
  2. D. Dutta, D. E. Geister, and G. Tryggvason. “Introducing Hands-On Experience in Design/Manufacturing Education.” International Journal of Engineering Education—Special issue on Manufacturing Engineering Education 20 (4), 2004. 754-763.
  3. B. Savilonis, H. Johari, G. Tryggvason, D. Olinger, and J. Blandino. “Development of a Unified Thermofluid Curriculum,” Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE New England Section Conference, 725-729, April 8-9, 2005.
  4. P. Quinn, L. Schachterle, G. Tryggvason and R. Vaz. “The WPI Bachelor of Arts degree in ‘Liberal and Engineering Studies.’” In Proceedings of the ASEE New England Section 2006 Annual Conference. Worcester, MA, March 17-18, 2006
  5. G. Tryggvason, R. Vaz, P. Davis and N. A. Mello. Preparing Engineers to Work in a Flat World—The WPI Global Perspective Program. [Slides] 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Education Conference: Mechanical Engineering Education and Global Industry. Beijing, China, March 31 - April 4, 2006.
  6. G. Tryggvason and D. Apelian. Re-Engineering Engineering Education for the Challenges of the 21st Century. Commentary in JOM: The Member Journal of TMS, October 2006. Reprinted in IEEE Engineering Management Review, 37(1), 2009, 38-43. Also translated into Chinese (China University Teaching, 12 (2008), 84-86.)
  7. Y. Rong, G. Tryggvason, R. Vaz, L. Gao, C. Wu, X. Shao. MQP in China: Doing Projects and Beyond. ICEE-2007 Coimbra, Portugal, September 3-7, 2007
  8. M. J. Ciaraldi, D. Cyganski, M. A. Demetriou, M. A. Gennert, B. A. Miller, Y. Rong, L. E. Schachterle, K. A. Stafford, and G. Tryggvason. A Robotics Engineering Major. Workshop on Research in Robots for Education Georgia Tech., 30 June, 2007.
  9. M. J. Ciaraldi, E. C. Cobb, D. Cyganski, M. Gennert, M. Demetriou, F. Looft, W. R. Michalson, B. Miller, Y. Rong, Professor, L. E. Schachterle, K. Stafford, G. Tryggvason, J. D. Van de Ven. " The New Robotics Engineering BS Program at WPI. ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburg, PA, June 22-25, 2008.
  10. M. A. Gennert and G. Tryggvason. Robotics Engineering: A discipline whose time has come IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 16, (2009), 18-20.
  11. M. Ciaraldi, E. C. Cobb, D. Cyganski, G. Fischer, M. Gennert, M., Demetriou, F. Looft, W. R. Michalson, B. Miller, T. Padir, Y. Rong, K. Stafford, G. Tryggvason, and J. D. Van de Ven. Robotics Engineering: A New Discipline for a New Century ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX, June 14-17, 2009.
  12. R. Beach, M. Gennert, W. Michalson, J. Van de Ven, T. Padir, G. Tryggvason, G. Fischer. AC 2010-615: “Robotics Innovation Competition and Conference (RICC): Building Community Between Academia and Industry through a University level Student Competition.” 2010 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition June 20 - 23, 2010, Louisville, KY.
  13. M. Gennert, F. Looft, G. Tryggvason, T. Padir, L. Schacterle. AC 2010-372: “Robotics Engineering: Assessing an Interdisciplinary Program.” 2010 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition June 20 - 23, 2010, Louisville, KY.
  14. G. Tryggvason, J. Schaufeld and M. C. Banks. “Teaching engineering innovation and entrepreneurship early in the curriculum.” Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, 1 (2010), 42-50.
  15. G. Tryggvason and D. Apelian (editors and contributors). “Shaping Our World: Engineering Education for the 21st Century.” To be published by John Wiley and Sons, 2011.


Last updated 8/18/2010 by Gretar Tryggvason