Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Graduates’ abilities to find and apply relevant information from engineering handbooks and reference books to their engineering and technology problems can be considered foundational to their abilities to pursue lifelong-learning in their field. Searchable, electronic access to traditional engineering handbooks and reference books as provided by the database Knovel serves as a user-friendly platform to introduce students to both the breadth and depth of reference book information available.

Engineering technology students in a freshman manufacturing processes course and a sophomore materials and metallurgy course were given a hands-on introduction to the Knovel database to promote an early familiarization to relevant engineering references. Activities introduced course-relevant handbooks and search techniques offered through the Knovel database. Time was provided to explore content on a selection of course-related topics. Student responses to a required post-activity essay and an end-of-semester revealed unexpected challenges in convincing early students of the usefulness of engineering handbook and reference data.


Published in the Proceedings of the 119th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 10-13, 2012 in San Antonio, TX.