EPICS Workshop

Integrating Design and Service-Learning into the Curriculum

Date:  29-31 October 2013

Where:  Aditya Sarovar Premiere Hotel

Registration is now closed.

EPICS is a curricular approach in which multi-disciplinary design teams address needs within local and global communities. EPICS was created at Purdue University and has been adopted at more than 20 universities and colleges, engaging students from their first-year through senior year and even capstone design. 

Data from current EPICS programs has shown enhanced learning of design and professional skills.  Early participation in EPICS has also been correlated with increased retention in engineering. The successes of have been recognized within Engineering Education by the National Academy of Engineering with the Bernard M. Gordon Prize, ASEE with the Chester Carlson Award and NSF through NSF Corporate Foundation Alliance as an Exemplary Program.  It has also been recognized within Service-Learning with the Thomas Ehrlich Award and the Associate for Public and Land Grant Universities as an Exemplary Program.

The workshop will provide information, tools, and resources needed to get an EPICS program up and going and will be facilitated by the directors of EPICS with experience from more than 50 faculty workshops on EPICS, service-learning and design. Topics include course/curriculum, capstone courses, entrepreneurship, partnerships, institutional support, and assessment, evaluation. The workshop will actively engage participants to learn the principles and include presentations, discussions and individual reflections so that participants can develop a customized plan that can be applied to their own institution.

Expected outcomes: IEEE Educational Activities and Purdue have joined an effort to expand adoption of EPICS in India. Through the EPICS-in-IEEE committee, IEEE has supported around 15 EPICS Projects in the last 2 years in India, and notable learning impact among students. The current effort is to formally introduce the program to faculty from leading institutions and support curriculum adoption or adaptation of EPICS in Indian Universities. It is expected that faculty who participate in the workshop may seek support from their academic institution to initiate EPICS projects. IEEE and Purdue are committed to providing necessary support to create a sustainable ecosystem for the success of EPICS at each participant's Institution

Questions about the workshop? Please contact Prasanna Venkatasan, IEEE Educational Activities Board prasanna@computer.org or Maeve Drummond, EPICS University Coordinator maeve@purdue.edu



  29 Oct.

30 Oct.

31 Oct.







Session 2 –A

Learning models

Coaching vs lecturing


Metacognition and reflection Introduction to service-learning and  community engagement


Human Centered Design

Session 3-A

Share and critique individual institutional plans







Session 2 –B

Research findings

Assessing student learning and outcomes for Senior Design

Session 3-B

Next steps-becoming an EPICS University

Workshop evaluation







Session 1-A

Workshop Overview and participant introductions

Defining Objectives and goals (IEEE and EPICS)

Introduction to EPICS Model

Session 2 –C


Active Community Projects in India


Managing community projects/partners







Session 1-B

EPICS Model, Course and Curriculum, Overview Examples and Reflection

Session 2 –D


Professional skills



Session Descriptions

Session 1-A is the opening session and will include remarks from IEEE.  Prof. William Oakes, Director of EPICS at Purdue University, will provide an overview of the workshop, session formats and expectations

Session 1-B will provide an overview of EPICS, a brief history and key elements of the model.  EPICS at the university and pre-university model will be presented.  Examples of projects that have been implemented into the curriculum will be presented and discussions will include example projects appropriate for the participants’ institutions.  Participants will be asked to create an initial example project that could be incorporated into their own institution.

Session 2-A will provide a background on the theoretical frameworks for the pedagogy used by EPICS.  Active learning and its benefits to students will be discussed.  The role of faculty as a facilitator of learning will be presented.  The components of the learning approach used by EPICS will be discussed by the participants.  Research findings from education will be presented to support this approach.

Session 2-B  will include presentations and discussions on the curriculum to support EPICS and the assessment tools and practices to document the learning from EPICS teams.

Session 2-C will include a panel discussion with faculty and students who have participated in IEEE-sponsored EPICS projects.  Students will share their experiences and insights.  Research findings will also be presented on the impact of EPICS on student learning.A panel of actual community partners will provide a forum for participants to learn from real partners and to hear their perspectives and advice for future projects.

Session 2-D will provide an overview of tools for team management and assessment.  Project management will also be discussed in the context of managing the student teams as well as teaching student the best practices of project management..Tools for developing professional skills in EPICS will be presented  including teamwork, leadership, communication, ethics and societal awareness.

Session 3-A will provide a time for participants to share the ideas that they have generated during the workshop with other participants.  The facilitators and participants will offer suggestions and critiques of the concepts. 

Session 3-B is a session to provide closure to the workshop.  The next steps will be discussed with respect to the participants own institution as well as EPICS efforts in India.  Workshop evaluations will be completed and suggestions for future workshops will be collected.

Summary - Speakers list

Prof. Bill Oakes, Director of EPICS, School of Engineering Education, Purdue University, USA

Dulcy Abraham, Professor of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, USA

Maeve Drummond, EPICS University Coordinator, College of Engineering, Purdue University, USA