Asee peer logo

An Innovative Two-Year Engineering Design Capstone Experience at James Madison University

Download Paper |

Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

22

Page Numbers

23.176.1 - 23.176.22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19190

Download Count

31

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Olga Pierrakos James Madison University

visit author page

OLGA PIERRAKOS is an associate professor and founding faculty member of the James Madison University Department of Engineering, which graduated its inaugural class in May 2012. At JMU, Dr. Pierrakos is the Director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (CIEE) and Director of the Advanced Thermal Fluids Laboratory. Her interests in engineering education research center around recruitment and retention, engineer identity, engineering design instruction and methodology, learning through service, problem based learning methodologies, assessment of student learning, as well as complex problem solving. Her other research interests lie in cardiovascular fluid mechanics, sustainability, and K-12 engineering outreach. Dr. Pierrakos is a 2009 NSF CAREER Awardee. Dr. Pierrakos holds a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

visit author page

biography

Elise M. Barrella James Madison University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0020-2035

visit author page

Dr. Elise M. Barrella is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at James Madison University, focusing on transportation systems and sustainability. Prior to joining the JMU Engineering faculty in 2012, Dr. Barrella was at Georgia Tech completing her Ph.D. research as part of the Infrastructure Research Group (IRG). She also completed a teaching certificate and was actively involved with the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Georgia Tech. Her academic interests focus on two primary areas of sustainable transportation: (1) community-based design and planning and (2) strategic planning and policy development. Dr. Barrella is also interested in investigating how to best integrate these research interests into classroom and project experiences for her students.

visit author page

biography

Robert L. Nagel James Madison University

visit author page

Dr. Robert Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Nagel joined the James Madison University after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University. He has a B.S. from Tri-State University (now Trine University) and a M.S. from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology), both in mechanical engineering. Dr. Nagel has performed research with the United States Army Chemical Corps, General Motors Research and Development Center, and the United States Air Force Academy. His research interests are in the area of conceptual design and engineering design education. Specifically, Dr. Nagel’s research activities include understanding customer needs, the use functional and process modeling to understand design problems, design for sustainability, and design for accessibility.

visit author page

biography

Jacquelyn Kay Nagel James Madison University

visit author page

Dr. Jacquelyn K. Nagel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Prior to JMU she worked as engineering contractor at Mission Critical Technologies working on the DARPA funded Meta-II Project. Dr. Nagel has seven years of diversified engineering design experience, both in academia and industry, and has experienced engineering design in a range of contexts, including: product design, biomimetic design, electrical and control system design, manufacturing system design and design for the factory floor. She earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University, and her M.S. and B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and Electrical Engineering, respectively, from the Missouri University of Science & Technology (formerly University of Missouri-Rolla). Dr. Nagel’s research interests include biomimicry, sensors, sustainable energy, engineering design, and manufacturing.

visit author page

author page

Justin J Henriques James Madison University

author page

Daniel Devon Imholte

Download Paper |

Abstract

An Innovative Two-Year Engineering Design Capstone ExperienceDesign is widely considered to be the central or distinguishing activity of engineering practice.To prepare students with a strong engineering design knowledge and skill base, almost allengineering programs integrate a capstone design experience during the senior undergraduateyear. Typically, these capstone design experience last either one or two semesters and it is quiterare for the capstone design experience to exceed one academic year. Is there an appropriate andideal duration for a capstone design experience? ABET requires that capstone design be aculminating learning experience. Yet, there is no requirement for the students to apply the entiredesign process, from planning to concept development to system-level design to detailed designand modeling to testing and refinement in these capstone design experiences. In order to preparestudents with the knowledge and skills necessary to face the complex technological problems ofengineering practice, it is imperative that students have the opportunity to practice applying thecomplete design process at some point during their undergraduate engineering education. Thecapstone design experience, which is a culminating learning experience, is an ideal context forthis to occur.In this paper, we present an innovative two-year capstone experience of the engineering programat ______________ that has been conceptualized, implemented, and assessed. The programgraduated its inaugural engineering class in May 2012. Rather than focusing on a specificengineering discipline, this program was developed from the ground up to provide students withtraining that emphasizes engineering design, systems thinking, and sustainability. Our vision isto produce cross-disciplinary engineer versatilists. One important place in the curriculum wherethis is achieved is the capstone experience, which starts in the fall semester of junior year andends in the spring semester of senior year. Our engineering capstone design is a team experiencewith four to five students comprising each capstone team, which works with both capstoneproject faculty advisor(s) and design faculty instructor(s) to successfully complete the capstonedesign experience in two years. Our pedagogical approach in the capstone experience is forstudents to take ownership of their projects and their learning. The design instructors andcapstone advisor(s) are there to support and facilitate mastery learning through directed and non-directed, group-based and independent, simple and complex, structured and unstructured, projecttasks that incrementally expose and reiterate the design process. In this paper, we will not onlydescribe the conceptualization and implementation of this two-year capstone experience, butalso present outcomes assessment data of student learning during this experience.

Pierrakos, O., & Barrella, E. M., & Nagel, R. L., & Nagel, J. K., & Henriques, J. J., & Imholte, D. D. (2013, June), An Innovative Two-Year Engineering Design Capstone Experience at James Madison University Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19190

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015