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A Coordinated Design Course Sequence to Integrate Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Experience

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

1st and 2nd Year Instruction in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Ruturaj Soman Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Ruturaj Soman received his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai in 2006, followed by M.Sc. in Aerospace from the University of Glasgow in 2007. He did his Ph.D. from the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from University of Strathclyde also in Glasgow from 2007-2013.
His current research is focused on using intelligent systems design methodologies, reliability analyses and risk assessment on finite inertia power systems particularly naval vessels. Currently he works at CAPS-FSU as a research associate and as the instructor for Engineering Design Methods at the FSU-FAMU College of engineering.

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Nikhil Gupta Florida State University Orcid 16x16

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Nikhil Gupta received his Bachelor of Technology degree from Y.M.C.A. Institute of Technology, Haryana, India in 2008, Master of Science degree from North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, in 2010, and Ph.D from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, in 2014, all in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently an Adjunct Professor teaching Senior Design in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also serving as Postdoctoral Research Associate at Center of Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics (CISCOR) at Florida State University. His research interests are primarily in the areas of dynamic system modeling, intelligent control, autonomous mobile wheeled and legged robotics, dynamic motion planning, and mechatronics.

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Chiang Shih Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Dr. Chiang Shih is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Department, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida State University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Southern California in 1988. He has served as the department Chair from 2002 until 2011 and is currently the Director of the Aeropropulsion, Mechatronics and Energy Center established in 2012. He is the coordinator of the ME Senior Capstone Design Curriculum and the dual degree B.S.-M.S. program.

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Modern engineering practitioners are generally involved with product development of tools, devices and systems with increasing complexities. They are tasks to multi-faceted roles to employ holistic design process including market analysis, research and development, design execution, prototype fabrication, quality control, testing and certification of the related products. However, traditional in-class teaching cannot adequately prepare graduates with critical attributes for them to function effectively in work place. Therefore, there is an increased emphasis in providing design experience through an integrated project-based learning throughout the engineering curriculum. In this paper, we will present our recent efforts to develop a coordinated three-semester course sequence to provide an integrated capstone experience to introduce creative design process through project planning, management, and product development. In the first class, Engineering Design Methods (EDM), Junior-level students are taught various collaborative learning strategies as well as a formal design process including all necessary design tools. They are also required to engage with capstone design teams which have been working on their senior capstone design project in the Senior Design Project (SDP) course sequence during the same semester. The EDM students acquire skills in preparation for their capstone experience while rehearsing these design skills by shadowing SDP teams in a virtual design mode. In the subsequent two-semester SDP course sequence, senior –level students are groups in teams working on externally-sponsored projects while applying skill set learning from the EDM and other core engineering courses. Most of the SDPs are real-world inspired projects which are externally sponsored by industry and government agencies and many of them are multidisciplinary in nature involving engineering and sometimes non-engineering students. In addition to carry out these design tasks, they are also required to interact with students in the EDM class and feedback their experience to their junior-level peers while enhancing their skills in communication and design implementation through reflective learning. Pre- and post-class surveys and feedback sessions are conducted to not only gain feedbacks from students to improve the coordinated learning process but also to engage them in self-reflection learning to continuous learning. We will also report our recent efforts in coordinating multidisciplinary, cross-institutional and international design projects since they serve to expand our students’ communication and collaborative skills from both technical and non-technical perspectives. Finally, this paper will report experience learned from our initial implementation, assessment of student learning and their perception of the process, with recommendations to further improve the coordinated learning model.

Soman, R., & Gupta, N., & Shih, C. (2016, June), A Coordinated Design Course Sequence to Integrate Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Experience Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26299

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