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An Integrated Concept To Prototype Capstone Design Experience

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capstone Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.184.1 - 10.184.14



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Paper Authors

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H. Jung

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Anthony de Sam Lazaro

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

An Integrated Concept-to-Prototype Capstone Design Experience

Amanie N. Abdelmessih, Ph.D., Anthony de Sam Lazaro, Ph.D., Isaac H. Jung, Ph.D., PE

Mechanical Engineering Department Saint Martin’s School of Engineering Lacey, WA 98503-1297


The objective of the two-semester Capstone/senior design program, at Saint Martin’s Mechanical Engineering Department, is to prepare student- engineers for the workforce by having them participate fully on a design team to solve an open-ended real-world design problem. Students design, then build/assemble their project. For the senior design project students use their knowledge from all previous courses and creative improvisation. Additionally, socio- economic and ethical issues are addressed as part of the design paradigm. Team work is emphasized. Problem recognition and statements, definition of the problem, constraints, alternative solutions and their evaluation, considerations of economics and manufacturing, scheduling, and meeting deadlines of the project are stressed. The distinctiveness of this program is the integration of students from the School of Business and the 'end-user' into the design team. The design project further hones oral and written communication skills of the team. This paper discusses the learning objectives and outcomes, structure of the class, organization of the senior design team and essential leadership positions, budget constraints, and other constraints on the project. Numerous projects were accomplished such as a recreational hovercraft, a water desalination system to be used in an orphanage in Tanzania, and an innovative instrumented heating, air conditioning bench top instructional experiment.


Over the course of several years, engineering educators have proposed various models for conducting a capstone design course, which would encompass most if not, all aspects of engineering design. These models range from one-semester paper design projects to full-team two-semester capstone projects. Some programs focus on individual and small group design teams, whereas others emphasize teamwork and leadership. Each of these models has its advantages and shortcomings and contributes at varying degrees to individual program outcomes. One of the perceived weaknesses that is common to most programs is the inability to provide a holistic environment for a student-engineer to hone her/his design skills. In other words, while design is the key ingredient of the course, it is not fostered in the context of a real-world scenario. Salient elements that are missing are the business and economics backdrop, the ‘customer’, and the process of taking a product from concept to prototype in a limited time and within a limited budget.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005. American Society for Engineering Education

Jung, H., & de Sam Lazaro, A., & Abdelmessih, A. (2005, June), An Integrated Concept To Prototype Capstone Design Experience Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14873

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