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A Comprehensive Investigation On Industry Sponsored Design Projects' Effectiveness At The First Year Level: Phase I

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Understanding Engineering Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.25.1 - 10.25.14



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Paper Authors

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Gul Okudan Kremer

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Madara Ogot

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Comprehensive Investigation on Industry-Sponsored Design Projects’ Effectiveness at the First-Year Level: Phase I

1 Gül E. Okudan, 2Susan Mohammed, 1,3Madara Ogot and 1Xinli Wu 1 School of Engineering Design and Professional Programs / 2 Department of Psychology /3Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Abstract This paper presents the preliminary work for developing guidelines to ensure that the industry sponsored projects in first-year courses aid, not hamper retention of students. Specifically, the overall research includes the following steps: (1) investigating the appropriateness of industry projects in a required introduction to engineering design course (~1,000 students/year), (2) assessing the impact of industry- sponsored projects on first-year students’ learning and retention, and (3) promoting an awareness of issues involved in successfully introducing industry projects at the first year. It is expected that the outcomes of this work will result in guidelines widely applicable by other institutions looking into or currently using industry projects at the first year, thereby addressing the recognized national need of increasing retention rates, especially amongst women and minorities.

This paper covers a review of potential factors affecting industry-sponsored projects’ appropriateness at the first year, and related preliminary data.

1.0 Introduction The current criteria for ABET accreditation1 state that “engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have: …an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs,” and “an ability to function in multi-disciplinary teams….” Because engineering design in industry is a team activity, the integration of design into engineering curricula is generally done through the use of design teams. In many cases, this integration also uses industry-sponsored design projects.

Most of the industry-sponsored design project applications are at the capstone design level, and many examples of these are documented in the literature 2-9. Capstone design courses are used to ease the transition from the education environment to industry by providing design problems originating from industry, and a setting for graduating engineers to work in design teams. Industry-sponsored projects not only provide a link between practicing engineers and graduating students, but also give students a deeper understanding for how they will use their discipline specific knowledge and skills in industry. Thus, although a few concerns are raised 11-12, there is overwhelming evidence for the success of capstone design courses that employ industry-sponsored design projects 2-10.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Okudan Kremer, G., & Ogot, M. (2005, June), A Comprehensive Investigation On Industry Sponsored Design Projects' Effectiveness At The First Year Level: Phase I Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14538

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