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Collaborative Project-Based Learning Capstone for Engineering and Engineering Technology Students

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Capstone Pedgagogy

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34300

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34300

Download Count

498

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Paper Authors

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Andrew P. Ritenour Western Carolina University

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Andrew Ritenour is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering + Technology at Western Carolina University (WCU). Prior to joining WCU in 2018, he spent a decade in industry managing and developing innovative technologies across a broad spectrum of applications: high voltage transistors for energy-efficient power conversion, radio frequency (RF) surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters for mobile phones, and flexible paper-like displays for e-readers. He holds 31 patents related to semiconductor devices and microfabrication. His current research interests include instrumentation for combustion science, novel methods for environmental remediation, and microelectronics including surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices. In addition to teaching in the field of electrical engineering, he coordinates the senior engineering capstone program which is a multidisciplinary, two-semester course sequence with projects sponsored by industrial partners. Within this role, he focuses on industrial outreach and the teaching and assessment of professional skills. He received his Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from MIT in 2007 and 1999, respectively, and a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Virginia in 1997.

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Chip W. Ferguson Western Carolina University

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Chip Ferguson is the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology and Professor of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University.

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Patrick Gardner Western Carolina University

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Dr. Gardner is the Director of the Rapid Center in the College of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University, providing engineering design, prototyping and testing services for industry partners. He is the Mountaintop Distinguished Professor in the College. Dr. Gardner is a retired Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force and has 30+ years of experience spanning government service, industry and academia.

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Brett Ronald Banther Western Carolina University

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Brett Banther is currently a Center Project Engineer for the Rapid Center at Western Carolina University (WCU). He is responsible for providing mechanical design, fabrication, and product development assistance, covering wide-ranging applications, to local industry partners and entrepreneurs. In addition, he is involved with the coordination and instruction of the engineering capstone program within the College of Engineering and Technology. The program is a multidisciplinary, two-semester course sequence with projects sponsored by industrial partners.

In 2014, he co-founded a business that designs and produces consumer goods that are sold internationally, and continues to oversee the manufacturing processes. Prior to joining WCU in 2011, he worked in industry designing innovative and award winning tactical knives and firearms. He is a co-inventor on three patent applications related to medical devices and consumer products. He received his M.S and B.A degrees from WCU in 2009 and 2006, respectively.

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Jeffrey L. Ray Western Carolina University

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Jeffrey L. Ray, F.ASEE has been Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University since 2014. Prior to this appointment he was Dean of the School of Engineering Technology and Management and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in Marietta, Georgia beginning in 2007. Prior to joining SPSU, he was the Director of the School of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Grand Valley State University for ten years, in addition to leading the multidisciplinary industry-sponsored capstone design courses. Before joining Grand Valley State University he was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Youngstown State University. His degrees include both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt he worked for the Vanderbilt University Department of Orthopaedics performing skeletal biodynamics research. Before beginning engineering school he completed an apprenticeship and was awarded the title of Journeyman Industrial Electrician.

Ray has been an active member at both national and sectional levels. He joined ASEE in 1994. He currently serves as Chair of the Engineering Technology Council and Vice-President, Institutional Councils. Other service includes being a member of the Frederick J Berger awards committee; National Teaching awards committee, and the ASEE Bylaws and Constitution committee. He has served as a member of the Engineering Technology Council board since 2008. Additionally, Ray has been a reviewer, moderator, and author in the Engineering Technology Division and other ASEE divisions at both the national and sectional levels since joining the society. His awards include two Best Session awards at the Conference on Industry Education Collaboration in 2008 and 2013, respectively. In 2009, he served as the Chair of the Southeastern Section annual conference.

Working as a faculty member, administrator, and volunteer for ASEE, and other professional societies, for the past twenty years, Ray has had the opportunities to develop leadership, and other, skills directly applicable to the position of PIC II Chair. Being an active member of ASEE at all levels has been a very exciting and rewarding experience. Ray has worked collaboratively with both ASEE members and staff personnel to move the society forward.

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Abstract

A highly innovative, industry-sponsored two-semester Capstone course sequence is offered at XXXX University. The Capstone courses are the culmination of an interdisciplinary Project-Based Learning (PBL) curricula spanning all four years inclusive of both engineering and engineering technology students. During their 1st year PBL course, students are introduced to basic professional skills including oral and written communications, project management, design methodologies, and other needed skills culminating in a semester project. These concepts are reinforced during the 2nd and 3rd year PBL courses with more in-depth professional skills and open-ended design projects. The PBL sequence prepares students for more open-ended and mature Capstone projects during their final year. Providing a common PBL sequence for engineering and engineering technology students allows for peer-to-peer mentorship, where students teach and learn from each other, and replicates the actual work environment they will experience upon graduation.

This paper reviews the PBL course sequence with specific emphasis on design and execution of the two-semester senior Capstone project. Specific examples of projects completed for industry sponsors are provided. Sponsorship data from 2015-2019 is analyzed to determine which industry groups have been engaged in the Capstone program and what categories of projects have been sponsored (e.g. Process Improvement, Automation, Test and Instrumentation, Prototype Development, and Engineering Analysis). The composition of Capstone teams is also analyzed over the same time period to quantify the percentage of teams with interdisciplinary combinations (engineering technology and engineering students) and assess whether team composition was dependent on project category. Student and faculty perceptions of the performance of interdisciplinary teams are summarized. The results suggest that certain categories of projects are best suited for interdisciplinary teams (Automation, Test and Instrumentation, and Prototype Development) while others (Process Improvement and Engineering Analysis) align more closely with engineering technology or engineering teams. Important considerations for interdisciplinary capstone programs team are discussed.

Ritenour, A. P., & Ferguson, C. W., & Gardner, P., & Banther, B. R., & Ray, J. L. (2020, June), Collaborative Project-Based Learning Capstone for Engineering and Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34300

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