Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
The ABET criterion 5 requires an undergraduate engineering program to incorporate and assess the outcomes of its capstone design process. Our BME program incorporates a design process, which focuses on the systems engineering approach and includes key industrial design phases such as project definition, system-level design, prototype development, and verification and validation. In the latest curricular change, we reduced the duration of the capstone design sequence by three academic quarters, and delayed its start to the spring term of the junior year, with system design and prototype building phases to be completed during senior year. In part, this change was introduced to alleviate challenges and frustration experienced by the students on the old design track and expressed in course evaluations and senior exit surveys. Sophomore and junior students found it challenging to proceed to design and prototype-building phases of the project without having completed essential engineering courses offered later in junior and senior years. As a result, the students spent long periods of time unable to move forward with their project and often experienced interpersonal problems on their teams. Furthermore, as sophomore and junior years contain the most challenging courses in our BME curriculum, the teams experienced the most turnover during that time as some students transitioned out of the program or fell behind on their track. The students were also unable to devote as much time to design as necessary, adding to their level of frustration and reducing their likelihood of success in design. This change also addressed the feedback from our industry partners, who emphasized that industry-commissioned design projects typically require shorter timelines that do not align well with our extended design track. To address the abovementioned challenges, we reduced the duration of our senior design course sequence to four academic quarters (9 credits). Professional BME topics related to medical device development such as new product definition, FDA and international regulatory compliance, design controls, medical device standards, quality control in medical device manufacturing, and healthcare economics originally taught throughout the old design sequence, are no longer part of the new design track. These topics are now taught in the dedicated new course Professional Topics in Biomedical Engineering, which is offered one quarter prior to the start of the design sequence and is well positioned to prepare the students for successful transition into design. In the first quarter of the new sequence, the students are expected to apply their knowledge from the Professional Topics course to define their projects and develop system design specifications. In three remaining quarters, the teams proceed to design, build and test their device prototypes. Currently, our BME senior class is completing the last year of the old sequence, and the junior class will be starting on the new design track in the spring quarter of this academic year. Future survey data will be collected from the old and new track cohorts to determine whether the learning outcomes and the students’ attitudes toward design have improved compared to the old approach.
Imas, O., & LaMack, J. A., & Tritt, C. S., & Fennigkoh, L., & Dos Santos, I. (2018, June), Board 15: Work in Progress: Streamlining the Biomedical Engineering Design Process Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29952
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: © 2018 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