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A Three-Semester Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Sequence Based on an SAE Collegiate Design Series

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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

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


James A. Mynderse Lawrence Technological University Orcid 16x16

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James A. Mynderse, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. His research interests include mechatronics, dynamic systems, and control with applications to piezoelectric actuators, hysteresis, and perception. He serves as the faculty advisor for the LTU Baja SAE team.

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Robert W. Fletcher Lawrence Technological University

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Robert Fletcher joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lawrence Technological University in the summer of 2003, after two decades of various industry engineering positions in research, and product development.

Dr. Fletcher earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, in Seattle, and the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering, both from the University of Michigan.

He teaches a number of alternative energy courses at Lawrence Tech. Dr. Fletcher and his student research team is focusing on energy usage and efficiencies of several traditional and alternative energy systems.

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Liping Liu Lawrence Technological University

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Liping Liu is an assistant professor in the A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. Her research focuses on thermal sciences and energy systems, with special interest in addressing transport phenomena in energy processes. She is a member of ASME, ASHRAE, and SAE International.

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Andrew L. Gerhart Lawrence Technological University

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Andrew Gerhart, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lawrence Technological University. He is actively involved in ASEE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Engineering Society of Detroit. He serves as Faculty Advisor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Student Chapter at LTU, chair of the First Year Engineering Experience committee, chair for the LTU KEEN Course Modification Team, chair for the LTU Leadership Curriculum Committee, supervisor of the LTU Thermo-Fluids Laboratory, coordinator of the Certificate/Minor in Aeronautical Engineering, and faculty advisor of the LTU SAE Aero Design Team. Dr. Gerhart conducts workshops on active, collaborative, and problem-based learning, entrepreneurial mindset education, creative problem solving, and innovation. He is an author of a fluid mechanics textbook.

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Selin Arslan


Kingman E. Yee Lawrence Technological University

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Kingman Yee is an associate professor of mechanical engineering and the program director for the Master of Science in Automotive Engineering. In addition, he is faculty co-advisor for the Collegiate Chapter of SAE and the Blue Devil Motorsports Organization.

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Mechanical engineering students at Lawrence Technological University complete a five-credit hour capstone project: either an SAE collegiate design series (CDS) vehicle or an industry-sponsored project (ISP). Students who select the SAE CDS option enroll in a three semester, three course sequence. Each team of seniors designs, builds, and competes with their vehicle at one of the SAE CDS events. Despite some strong finishes in the past, overall competition performance has recently declined and student exit interviews indicated dissatisfaction with the course sequence. This work examines a complete course sequence overhaul focused on improving student design, collaboration, and communication skills; integration of the SAE CDS events into the curriculum; and faculty advisor involvement in the classroom. Initial assessment of the proposed course modifications is performed using faculty advisor observation, student surveys, and direct assessment of student work.

Mynderse, J. A., & Fletcher, R. W., & Liu, L., & Gerhart, A. L., & Arslan, S., & Yee, K. E. (2016, June), A Three-Semester Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Sequence Based on an SAE Collegiate Design Series Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26470

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