It takes more than strong math and science skills to be a great mechanical engineer in the 21st century. To meet the challenges ahead, mechanical engineers must be able to communicate clearly in a variety of modes—to diverse audiences and across cultures.
The Technical Communication Program within the Department of Mechanical Engineering prepares undergraduate and graduate students for communication challenges they will face as practicing engineers and researchers. We accomplish this goal by:
- training faculty to help them incorporate technical communication in their disciplinary courses,
- training graduate teaching assistants so they can provide high-quality feedback on assignments and lab reports, and to help them improve their own technical communication skills,
- collaborating with the Michigan Tech Multiliteracies Center to train coaches in our Engineering Learning Center to help second- and third-year students with technical communication assignments,
- providing a series of technical communication modules for students in the four ME Practice courses—part of our recently revised curriculum,
- providing intensive instruction and practice in technical writing and presenting in Senior Capstone Design courses, with a topical expert in technical communication assigned to the course,
- offering MEEM 6010 (Engineering Research Communication) every spring semester for graduate research assistants, and
- offering editing services for faculty and graduate students to help them prepare proposals and publications.
This website is meant to be a resource for faculty interested in incorporating technical communication instruction into their courses and for mechanical engineering undergraduate and graduate students interested in improving their skills.
"One thing we continually hear from employers is that engineers must have excellent communication skills to succeed. At the undergraduate level, we are committed to a range of efforts key to improving student communication, from training GTAs to more effectively evaluate student writing to incorporating more communication assignments into disciplinary courses. At the graduate level, we offer a course in engineering research communication, developed by Nancy Barr, which guides students in publishing research results in journals and in presenting research results at conferences. All of these endeavors are having a significant impact on the quality of the communication skills of our graduates."
—William W. Predebon, PhD
Professor and Chair