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A Multi Faceted Design Process For Multi Disciplinary Capstone 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

6.56.1 - 6.56.7



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Paper Authors

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Edward Hensel

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Engineers are called upon to design a wide variety of devices and systems, typically in a multi- disciplinary team environment. We try to incorporate this design environment into the senior capstone design experience in mechanical engineering at NMSU. In this two-semester sequence, each design team is led by a student manager, often a graduate student from another engineering department. Since these student managers often have little more design experience than the undergraduate students, it is useful to present a fairly structured framework for the design teams to operate within. This multi-faceted design procedure helps walk the students through the maze of issues that must be considered in engineering design. This design process is modeled after the methods that we have used in delivering customer design and development projects under contract for actual engineering applications. The approach fosters a stronger team-oriented working relationship with the client or company sponsoring the project, enables us to train our students in one product development process, and helps the team members learn what to expect in working together. During the first semester of the senior experience, the multi-faceted approach to product design and development is presented to the students as a sequential process, with each step following week by week through the semester. When the students enter their second semester, they have some basis for seeing the “big picture”, and the multi-faceted process is then presented as a concurrent engineering environment, to help the team members stay on track with multiple design issues. This design process was originally adapted from personal experience for use with the senior mechanical engineering capstone course. During the Spring semester of 2000, the method was applied on a pilot-basis to a team-taught projects class involving approximately 70 mechanical engineering and 15 industrial engineering students, with 8 technical writing students serving as consultants to each team. During the Spring 2001 semester, the capstone course will include full participation from mechanical engineering (two faculty members), industrial engineering (one faculty member), and technical communications (one faculty member). Typical semesters include fifteen to eighteen distinct project teams, with upwards of 90 undergraduate students enrolled in the capstone projects class. Each faculty mentor is responsible for five to six project teams. This paper will present an overview of the design process originally developed for use within the mechanical engineering senior capstone design course, and how the process is being adapted for use in multi-disciplinary team projects.

Hensel, E. (2001, June), A Multi Faceted Design Process For Multi Disciplinary Capstone Design Projects Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9580

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