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An Overview of Our Experience Integrating Multidisciplinary and International Design Projects within the Senior Capstone Design Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Teams and Teamwork in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.199.1 - 22.199.16



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Paper Authors


Rob O. Hovsapian Florida State Univeristy

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Dr. Hovsapian spent almost 15 years working for General Dynamics, TRW and Northrop Grumman. Currently he serves as an associate scholar scientist / faculty, instructor of record for the senior capstone design course, for the Mechanical Engineering department and a program manager at the Center for Advanced Power Systems for the Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium (ESRDC) for the Office of Naval Research. He has been responsible for the successful establishment /deployment of several flexible manufacturing facilities globally, working on multiple continents and with many cultures, which produce sophisticated defense electronics equipment, complex automotive systems, and advanced semiconductors. Dr. Hovsapian has personally been recognized nationally for his process improvement activities in manufacturing excellence. He received his Masters of Science and doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University.

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Chiang Shih Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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Dr. Chiang Shih graduated with his PHD degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1988. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. He has served as the Chair of the Department between 2002 and 2011. His research interests are unsteady aerodynamics, supersonic flow control, and aero-acoustics.

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Bruce A. Harvey Florida A&M University/Florida State University, College of Engineering

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Dr. Bruce Harvey received his Bachelor degree from Auburn University in 1984, his Master of Science from University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1986 and his Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991, all in Electrical Engineering. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in Tallahassee, Florida. From 1984 - 1986 and 1991 - 1997 he was with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and from 1986 - 1988 he was with Phase IV Systems in Huntsville, Alabama. His research interests include wireless communication, spread-spectrum techniques, error-control coding and mobile data communications and networks.

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Okenwa I. Okoli Florida A&M University/Florida State University

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An Overview of Our Experience Integrating Multidisciplinary and International Design Projects within the Senior Capstone Design Course The objective of the Mechanical Engineering capstone senior design course at our school is tointroduce the students to the realistic engineering design projects, where most projects areexternally-sponsored. This course introduces the students to the industrial design process, givesthem the opportunity to work as an integrated and cohesive team on their project, and to becomeskilled at effective communication with each other and with the industrial partners, so thestudents gains understanding of how to successfully manage their project. Since real-worldengineering projects are mostly multidisciplinary and some with international aspect, it isimperative to introduce the students to those environments and challenges. Over the years, wehave steadily increased the percentage of our projects which are multidisciplinary and requireinternational collaboration. For example, about 50% of this year’s projects are multidisciplinarypartnering with either Industrial Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering.Additionally, one international project has included students from both U.S. and Brazil followingour previous experience working with Brazil and Romania. The international project will befurther integrated formally into the curriculum of a recently funded international exchangeprogram administered by the U.S. Department of Education. A multidisciplinary team approachutilizes the skills and experience of individuals from those disciplines, with each disciplineapproaching the project from their own perspective. Similarly, functioning within aninternational team demands more structured coordination and effective communication toovercome cultural differences, language barriers and other unforeseen obstacles. This paper willdiscuss the challenges of executing those multidisciplinary and international projects wherestudents are from different engineering departments and countries, and how these challenges areaddressed in the capstone design courses between departments and Universities.Keywords: capstone design course, engineering design, education, multidisciplinary,international

Hovsapian, R. O., & Shih, C., & Harvey, B. A., & Okoli, O. I. (2011, June), An Overview of Our Experience Integrating Multidisciplinary and International Design Projects within the Senior Capstone Design Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17480

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