ME 480 01: Mechanical Engineering Seminar

ME 480 - Mechanical Engineering Seminar

2023 Summer Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 8313

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

MTW 8am-10am in UND Online

Instructor Information

Mr. Dominik Steinhauer

Sr. Lecturer


Office: Upson II Office 160D

2023 Summer Office Hours:
May 22nd-June 9th No Office Hours
June 12th-Aug 4th Mon & Tues 11am-12pm or by appointment.
Digital Office (Zoom):

Office Phone: 701-777-6955

Office Phone is forwarded to Cell Phone

About the Professor

Mr. Steinhauer is a UND Mechanical Engineering Alumni (Bachelor’s 2003, Master’s 2004).  After graduation he served as the Service and Support Engineer for the North Dakota and northwest Minnesota markets for FedEx Express for 13 years.  During this time, he specialized in process improvement, budgeting/forecasting, and project management.  During the last 5 years of this career he also served as a new engineer trainer at the FedEx World Headquarters in Memphis TN.  Mr. Steinhauer accepted the position of Senior Lecturer at the University of North Dakota in Feb 2018 to instruct ME 418L, ME 480, and ME 487/488.

Course Description

Reports and presentations on current developments in mechanical engineering and engineering ethics.

Course Description & Objectives

ME-480 is a course designed to help you develop your oral and written communication skills.  It will also highlight selected contemporary engineering issues and professional ethics.

Credits                  3.00

Relevant ABET Outcomes:

A.  To produce graduates who have an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

B.  To produce graduates who have the ability to communicate effectively.

C.  To produce graduates who have knowledge of contemporary issues in the field of Mechanical Engineering.

UND Essential Studies:

As an Essential Studies Capstone course this class represents an opportunity to consolidate, synthesize, and make use of the wide variety of intellectual skills you have acquired as part of your undergraduate curriculum. This course’s Essential Studies learning goals will be an intentional and thoughtful focus of the course, meaningfully integrated into the work that you do. You can expect to produce work in those goal areas that is at an advanced level, and which represents a culmination of your undergraduate educational experience.

This course is an Essential Studies Special Emphasis course in Advanced Communication as well, which means it places a strong emphasis on practice and process in communication. You will receive regular feedback on your speaking and/or writing, and you will be required to produce multiple spoken presentations and/or written texts. In addition to assignments which require you to work with content, they will also demand that you are aware of rhetorical strategies and styles of delivery.

As an Advanced Communication course, at least 1/3 of your assignments will emphasize writing and/or speaking skills, and you should expect these assignments to build on skills developed in earlier courses – such as awareness of audience and purpose, argumentation and rhetorical effectiveness, or the communication conventions associated with particular civic, academic, and professional contexts.

You should also expect to receive feedback on the quality of your communication in writing and/or oral presentation assignments and have the time necessary to use that feedback to improve your writing and/or oral communication skills.

Course Materials

Successful Public Speaking, Arina Nikitina &, Academic Transfer, 2011 ISBN 978-87-7681-947-7

About Writing: A Guide, Robin Jeffrey, Open Oregon Educational Resources, 2016

Technical Requirements/Assistance

Whether you’re taking courses in the classroom or online, it’s important to have the right technology and equipment.  Visit the UND Technical Requirements webpage for more information. Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

Navigating BlackBoard:

  • Content:
    • PowerPoints of each lecture are posted and available for students to review after they are discussed during the Synchronous Meeting Time
  • Live Lectures – Zoom
    • Link to the live Zoom feed that will be used as the virtual classroom
  • Posted Speeches – YuJa     
    • Recordings of the live Zoom feeds are posted in YuJa.  Students will also post their speeches for review in this section
  • Speech & Paper Assignments                                    
    • Descriptions of both the Speech and Paper assignments are detailed here.  Students will also submit their completed papers here for grading
  • Peer Critique Discussion Boards                                
    • As part of their assignments student will post their work here for review by their peers.  Reviews and comments will be posted as replies once reviews are completed
  • Quizzes
    • Discussion Quizzes will be posted for most lectures.  There will also be practice speaking quizzes in this section.


Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

  • Synchronous students are expected to participate in class discussions of the lectures and in class quizzes. 
  • Asynchronous students are expected to view all lectures and complete all assigned quizzes 
  • Any assigned reading is expected to be completed before class. 
  • The final exam questions may be drawn from the lectures and any additional assigned sources. 
  • The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the dated noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  • The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.



Announcements will be posted in Blackboard and emailed on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.

Contacting Instructor:

If you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week or weekend.  My office number is forwarded to my cell phone.  Feel free to call during normal business house.  Call after hours are intended to be for emergency situations.  If I do not answer please leave me a detailed message and I will get back to you. 

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.


Topic 1 - Ice Breaker

Ice Breaker Speech = 3%

Peer Review of Icebreaker Speech = 1%

Topic 2 - Mechanical Engineering the Magazine

Engineering Topic Speech  = 5%

Peer Review of Engineering Topic Speech = 3%

Final Paper on Engineering Topic Speech = 3%

Revised Final Paper on Engineering Topic Speech = 2%

Topic 3 - Engineering Ethics

Ethics Speech = 7%

Peer Review of Ethics Speech = 3%

Final Paper on Ethics Speech = 4%

Topic 4 - ASME Speech Competition

ASME Competition - Submit Topic = 2%

ASME Competition - Submit Bibliography = 2%

ASME Competition - Submit Paper Outline = 2%

ASME Competition A.I. Speech Coach Practice = 4%

ASME Competition Speech = 17%

Peer Review of ASME Completion Speech = 3%

Final Paper on ASME Completion Speech = 15%

Topic 5 - Software Training

Software Training Speech = 9%

Peer Review of Software Training Speech = 3%

Final Paper on Software Training Speech = 3%

A.I. Speech Coach Assignments

Various A.I. games that improve speaking = 5%


Discussion Quizzes from Lectures = 4%

Total = 100%

Assessment Summary

Final Grade Scale

> 90% A

80-89% B

70-79% C

60-69% D

< 59% F

Course Policies

Course Evaluation

Around the middle of the semester, we will complete a formative assessment to see how the course is going. Near the end of the semester, you will be asked to complete an online course evaluation form (SELFI). Your feedback on the course is extremely valuable to me. I read my students’ comments carefully and use them to improve the course the next time I teach it.

  • When the time comes, please let me know which aspects of the course helped you learn—and which aspects might be modified to help future students learn more effectively. 
  • Please note that the course evaluations are anonymous and that I won’t see the results until after the grades for the course are submitted, allowing you to provide honest and constructive feedback. 
  • And if you have feedback to offer before the end of the semester, please let me know.

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Due dates for each assignment or activity will be posted in Blackboard.

Late Work

All late work will have a 20% point reduction for each business day late.  Any exceptions to this must be approved in advance of the due date. 

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all speech and paper assignments before the due date of the next similar assignment
  • The instructor will be available during appointed Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice.

Class Participation

Students are required to login regularly to the online class site. Students are also required to participate in all class activities such as in class discussion (synchronous students), and peer reviews in discussion board.  On campus or synchronous students are expected to attend on campus or synchronous classes, etc.


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.

College/Department Policies

The following link is the the Mechanical Engineering's Student Handbook.  

University of North Dakota Policies & Resources

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties for the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter and will have little tolerance and/or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access and Opportunity, Disability Support, & Medical Services

The University of North Dakota is committed to providing equal access to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class and your program, please contact Disability Services for Students (DSS) to engage in a confidential discussion about accommodations for the classroom and clinical settings. Accommodations are not provided retroactively. Students are encouraged to register with DSS at the start of their program. More information can be obtained by email or by phone at 701.777.2664.


UND is committed to maintaining a safe learning environment while providing quality learning experiences for our students. COVID-19’s continued presence within our UND community may necessitate changes in classroom management as the academic year progresses. As such, UND asks students and instructors to be flexible when necessary to promote a safe environment for learning. Please do not attend an in-person class or lab if you are feeling ill, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been directed by health professionals to quarantine or isolate. If you are not able to attend class or lab, please notify your instructor as soon as possible and discuss options for making up any missed work in order to ensure your ability to succeed in the course. If you will have an extended absence due to serious illness or other uncontrollable circumstances, you may request an absence notification through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Similarly, if your instructor is ill they may need to cancel class or temporarily move your course to online delivery to ensure that you are able to complete the course successfully.  Instructors may require students to wear masks in the classroom or in the laboratory as a preventative measure designed to facilitate uninterrupted classroom engagement and to facilitate health and safety in the classroom.   If your instructor does require masks in class or in a laboratory, you are expected to comply with that request.

UND also strongly encourages all members of the University community, including students, to get vaccinated, seek out testing when needed, and model positive behavior both on- and off-campus to foster a healthy and safe learning environment for all students. Individuals who would like to discuss disability accommodations regarding masks should contact the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at 701.777.2664 or Individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to a sincerely held religious belief should contact the UND Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office at 701.777.4171 or

Religious Accommodations

UND offers religious accommodations, which are reasonable changes in the academic environment that enable a student to practice or observe a sincerely held religious belief without undue hardship on the University. Examples include time for prayer or the ability to attend religious events or observe a religious holiday. To request an accommodation, complete the student religious accommodation request form. If you have any questions, you may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office.

Pregnancy Accommodations

Students who need assistance with academic adjustments related to pregnancy or childbirth may contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or Academic Affairs to learn about your options. Additional information and services may be found at Pregnancy Resources.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to Donna Smith, Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity & Title IX and Title IX/ADA Coordinator, 102 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 230 S. Dearborn St., 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

If you or a friend has experienced sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, please contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office or UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171;; or visit the Title IX webpage. You may also contact the Equal Opportunity & Title IX office if you or a friend has experienced discrimination or harassment based on a protected class, such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, pregnancy, marital or parental status, veteran's status, or political belief or affiliation.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Discrimination, Harassment, or Sexual Misconduct

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual misconduct or of discrimination or harassment based on a protected class that they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been impacted by discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, you can find information about confidential support services on the Equal Opportunity & Title IX webpage..

UND Cares Program

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, however, some students may struggle or have issues that arise. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares Program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or different than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on a normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

Land Acknowledgement Statement

Today, the University of North Dakota rests on the ancestral lands of the Pembina and Red Lake Bands of Ojibwe and the Dakota Oyate - presently existing as composite parts of the Red Lake, Turtle Mountain, White Earth Bands, and the Dakota Tribes of Minnesota and North Dakota. We acknowledge the people who resided here for generations and recognize that the spirit of the Ojibwe and Oyate people permeate this land. As a university community, we will continue to build upon our relations with the First Nations of the State of North Dakota - the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Additional Resources

It is my goal to foster an environment of mutual respect in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their opinions, sharing their stories, and learning about potentially heavy or personally relevant material. If, at any point, you feel like the information covered in this class elicits thoughts, feelings, or concerns that you would like to discuss further, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or the UND Counseling Center (701-777-2127).

Further, if you experience extenuating circumstances, sexual violence, identity-based harm, or any other personal crisis during the semester, don’t hesitate to reach out to me so we can provide academic assistance and help you in this course, and put you in contact with the appropriate resources and services (if needed).