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A Model For Multi University Design Projects

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.52.1 - 6.52.15



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Paper Authors

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James Menart

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Elizabeth Johnson

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Gary Kinzel

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

Session 3425

A Model for Multi-University Design Projects

Gary Kinzel, James Menart, Elizabeth Johnson The Ohio State University/Wright State University/ Sinclair Community College


This paper discusses the evolution of our approach to conducting multi-university design projects in which teams of students at several different campuses collaborate on the design and manufacture of a product. Such projects teach the students about concurrent engineering and simulate a real-world setting. The projects teach product design and development, system integration, inter-personal skills, and working in teams. The approach we are using broadens the scope of a typical senior capstone design project making it into a full-year project and converts it into a product development and product realization course. While using this approach to the capstone design project usually results in a better educational experience for the students than if students from only one school are involved, it cannot be accomplished without an increase in resources. Compared to dealing with teams at a single university, it is harder to coordinate teams from multiple universities, and communication and travel costs are obviously higher. In this paper, we discuss both the benefits and problems associated with multi-university projects and the approaches we are using to maximize the benefits and to reduce the basic costs required to sustain such projects.

I. Introduction

Since 1995, the NSF Gateway Coalition has supported a project aimed at the development of a multi-university capstone design course emphasizing concurrent engineering. This type of course brings real-world challenges to design projects, and provides a unique educational experience for the students. The team is assembled from students from more than one university campus, and the campuses are geographically distributed. This simulates typical industrial design environments in which product development team members generally live in different cities or even countries. This makes the team members break down a project into subsystems that are loosely coupled and address the integration of subsystems into the final product.

The original schools participating in the design projects were The University of Pennsylvania (Penn), The Ohio State University (OSU), The Cooper Union (CU), New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and Drexel University (DU). The teams consisted of

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Menart, J., & Johnson, E., & Kinzel, G. (2001, June), A Model For Multi University Design Projects Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9563

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