June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Systems Engineering Constituent Committee
11.238.1 - 11.238.11
Assessing Interdisciplinary Engineering Capstone Project
In industry, engineers from different disciplines and levels of expertise work together on projects. To prepare students for industry, professors from Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME), and Mechanical Engineering (ME) departments at Kettering University have combined their capstone classes to work on a common project.
Students are divided into teams composed of students from each of the ECE, IME, and ME departments. Every team works on their version of a project known as RoboBug. The team is responsible for the design, development, and manufacturing of a working robot in the shape of a bug capable of performing specified tasks. Students are given requirements for functionality and limitations such as weight, cost, and timeline for various activities of their work.
At the end of the term, each team is required to submit a final report and give a final presentation. Their presentation is assessed by faculty and invited guests on knowledge gained, coordination, team participation, and leadership skills.
Weekly and final evaluations by faculty, invited guests, and students are statistically analyzed to measure the effectiveness of this interdisciplinary engineering capstone project. This paper will discuss the assessment process and the results of these evaluations. In addition, the comments and observations made by the participants, along with the difficulties and successes will be presented.
In an expanded effort towards engineering integration, it is imperative to integrate courses at many levels of education1. To simulate an industrial setting and to prepare students for interdisciplinary careers, students from the various degree capstone classes are assigned to work together on a common project to develop a new product – RoboBug – for the Freshman Interdisciplinary Design and Manufacturing course, IME-100. IME-100 is an introductory course which exposes first year students to the activities and professional characteristics of each of the engineering disciplines offered at Kettering University. Via IME-100 freshmen are introduced to electromechanical principles through studying the mechanics and electronic control of these components. They discuss the nature of the product, the design principles and constraints used, the material selection, and the manufacturing processes. The IME-100 course includes IME laboratories where freshman students learn to perform basic manufacturing processes. These processes provide them the skills necessary to manufacture a RoboBug. The IME-100 course also has an ECE laboratory component where freshmen students build a circuit to be placed on a small robot. The robot is then used in the course to demonstrate system integration and simple programming in an effort to coordinate a walking motion.
Sanders, M., & Thompson, M., & El-Sayed, M., & King, L., & Lindquist, M. (2006, June), Assessing Interdisciplinary Engineering Capstone Project Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--695
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