The GasDay Project at Marquette University: A Learning Laboratory in a Functioning Business

The GasDay Project is a working software business within a university in which undergraduate and graduate students apply what they have learned in the classroom to create and license a product that solves a real-world problem. Multidisciplinary teams of engineering, mathematics, computer science, and business students produce software licensed by U.S. utilities to forecast over 20% of the nation’s daily natural gas demand.The GasDay Project functions as an extracurricular learning laboratory that incorporates several student-centered learning methods including active, collaborative, and project-based learning. It provides students with experiential learning opportunities similar to those associated with co-op, internship, and research experiences. Students learn about entrepreneurship, teamwork, and dealing with customers, which prepare them for successful careers.

This paper describes the pedagogical approaches to student learning employed by the GasDay Project as well as the educational benefits to students including (i) hands-on learning in a business setting with real-world consequences for successes and failures, (ii) direct contact with customers and industrial partners, (iii) experience with project management and the importance of working in a setting with competing priorities that must be met with a fixed set of resources, and (iv) knowledge of how research is conducted and how to take it from the laboratory to the marketplace.

 

Authors:

Ronald H. Brown, Marquette University
Thomas F. Quinn, Marquette University
George Corliss, Marquette University
Jay R. Goldberg, Marquette University
Mark Nagurka, Marquette University

Document Type: Conference Proceeding
Publication Date: 2012
Source Publication: 2012 ASEE Annual Conference
Comments: Published version. Published as part of the proceedings of the conference, 2012 ASEE Annual Conference, 2012. Permalink. © American Society for Engineering Education 2012. Used with permission.