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An Industry Sponsored Capstone Project: A Story Of Success

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.155.1 - 15.155.18



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Paper Authors

author page

Khalid Al-Olimat Ohio Northern University

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

An Industry—Sponsored Capstone Project: A Story of Success


This paper presents a capstone project that has been sponsored by American Electric Power (AEP). AEP, like other companies, relies on shippers to move equipment long distances. Sometimes during these trips, the shipped object is damaged, causing financial losses. AEP requested a device which monitors when and where damages occur. A device was designed which gives AEP this capability. Since the duration of a shipment may be up to two months, the device must contain an adequate power supply. The device records multiple impacts as well the location, date, and time of each impact. It contains a timer which can be used to record each impact in the event that Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are not available. Collected data is written to a memory card so it can be retrieved using a PDA or laptop. The monitoring device consists of a Programmable Interface Controller (PIC), an accelerometer, a GPS receiver, a memory card slot, and other electrical components. When an impact occurs, the PIC logs the value of the acceleration and activates the GPS device to determine the time and the device’s present location. If the GPS device is unable to receive a signal, the PIC will record the time of the impact. The PIC sends this information to the memory card. A software package developed to work with this device enables the end user to view a map indicating where each impact occurred. The impact data is retrieved by inserting the memory card into a PC or PDA. Information about the strength and time of each impact is displayed on a map. The design project has won first place as the best design project at Ohio Northern University (ONU) and second place in the IEEE-Student Activities Conference 2009. The paper presents the technical content of the design, the assessment of the design with respect to ABET criterion a-k, and the advantages of and recommendations for industry-sponsored projects. Introduction

The senior design course -also called senior capstone design project - is an important component of engineering curriculum worldwide. The course is a senior level course with a common objective which is to mainly allow students to reinforce their technical skills and to integrate and apply them to solve engineering problems. ABET1 states the definition of engineering design as “Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision-making process (often iterative), in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing, and evaluation.” Simply, engineering design is the use of theoretical knowledge to bring useful systems to reality.

The structure of senior design experience varies from one university to another. Some universities offer this course as a one semester course and others offer it as a year-long course. ONU requires students to take a year-long (three quarters) senior design sequence. The sequence consists of three courses; senior design seminar (2-credit hours), senior design (3-credit hours),

Al-Olimat, K. (2010, June), An Industry Sponsored Capstone Project: A Story Of Success Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16494

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