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A Senior Project Done In Collaboration With Industry

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Real-world Applications in ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.103.1 - 7.103.8



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Paper Authors

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Robert Mueller

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

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A Senior Project Done in Collaboration with Industry Robert Lynn Mueller The Pennsylvania State University New Kensington Campus


Many baccalaureate-engineering curriculums require that their students complete a project course prior to graduation. This project is usually taken in the senior year and is to utilize the engineering principles encompassed in the student’s education. While this is definitely a worthwhile requirement, it is sometimes difficult to find meaningful projects. The advantages to real-world engineering problem as a project are many-fold but getting these projects is not always easy. This paper discusses a real-world senior project done at Penn State University New Kensington in collaboration with local industry. By way of this project, this paper discusses the advantages of real-world projects, suggests ways to find corporate partners to participate, and also provides some suggestions on ways to ensure success.


The senior project is a capstone project course taken in the final term of the 4-year Bachelor of Science in Electromechanical Engineering Technology degree offered at Penn State University New Kensington (PSUNK). The objectives of the course are to train the students in project management, communication skills (both written and oral), budgeting, application of engineering skills, and team building. Each project team consists of 2 students (or 3 only if the course has an odd number of students) and the students are allowed to pick their own teams. The team is usually responsible for selecting its project with the condition that the project must contain at least 3 fundamental components: measurements from an electromechanical system, control decisions based on those measurements, and then the control of electromechanical elements to achieve some design criteria.

Other papers have been published on capstone projects done in conjunction with industry [1 -3]. But these papers deal with projects that have the students solving engineering problems and not with the actual manufacture of an item that fulfils the 3 fundamental components outlined above. The author in [3] does discuss some good ideas for establishing long-term commitments from industry for accepting students on a regular basis.

To accomplish the administrative objectives of the course, the project team must provide biweekly written and oral progress reports on project design updates, schedule, and budget. At the end of the term, each project team is required to write a group project report detailing the project’s design and budget. A formal demonstration of the project is also required.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Mueller, R. (2002, June), A Senior Project Done In Collaboration With Industry Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11056

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