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Capstone 101: A Framework for Implementation of an ABET-compliant Capstone Sequence

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Capstone Design II

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

25.282.1 - 25.282.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21040

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

biography

Peter L. Schmidt University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Peter L. Schmidt received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville, his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has served as a Research Associate and as an instructor at Vanderbilt University. He has also worked at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind.; at Precision Rubber, now part of Parker Hannifin in Lebanon, Tenn.; for CDAI in Atlanta, Ga.; and at UTC/Carrier in Lewisburg, Tenn. Schmidt is a member of the ASEE and a licensed Professional Engineer in Tennessee and Georgia. He is also a member of ASME, ASHRAE, ASA, and INCE. Schmidt’s research interests include aeroacoustics and ultrasonics, and he has authored several journal and conference papers on these subjects.

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biography

James M. Conrad University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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James M. Conrad received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas and as an instructor at North Carolina State University. He has also worked at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas; at Ericsson/Sony Ericsson in Research Triangle Park, N.C.; and at BPM Technology in Greenville, S.C. Conrad is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is also a member of ASEE, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Project Management Institute. He is the author of numerous books, book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers in the areas of embedded systems, robotics, parallel processing, and engineering education.

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Abstract

Capstone 101: A Framework for Implementation of an ABET-Compliant Capstone SequenceThe ABET Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs states, “Students must be prepared forengineering practice through a curriculum culminating in a major design experience based on theknowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and incorporating appropriate engineeringstandards and multiple realistic constraints.” The ABET Criteria for Accrediting EngineeringPrograms states “Baccalaureate degree programs must provide a capstone or integratingexperience that develops student competencies in applying both technical and non-technicalskills in solving problems.” Many programs already have a course in place that was designed toserve the purpose of providing a clinical experience for students prior to graduation, but thevision for these courses is inconsistent at best when the population of programs in the UnitedStates is considered as a whole. Some institutions implement the course as a single semesterexperience, some as a two semester experience. Some programs concentrate all students on asingle project; some programs employ multiple projects from which student teams choose. Theteaching burden for courses of this nature is not congruent with a traditional lecture or laboratorycourse. Some Universities recognize this difference, others simply treat it as just another course,despite its’ key role in retaining accreditation and the large time commitment required for auseful experience for the students.This paper defines a notional structure for implementing a modern capstone experience wherenone exists or where a new course paradigm is desired, based on the experiences of manyprogram instructors from across the United States and Canada. This includes data andexperiences described in seminal published papers, as well as the personal experiences of theauthors. The material presented will also serve as a training aid for faculty new to this type ofcourse delivery with suggestions for minimizing effort while maximizing quality and realism ofstudent experience.

Schmidt, P. L., & Conrad, J. M. (2012, June), Capstone 101: A Framework for Implementation of an ABET-compliant Capstone Sequence Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21040

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