Asee peer logo

Design and Implementation of Web-based System for Client-based Design Project Management

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Design and Research in BME

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.457.1 - 26.457.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


John P. Puccinelli University of Wisconsin, Madison

visit author page

Dr. Puccinelli is the Associate Chair of the Undergraduate Program in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He began here as student near the start of the UW-BME program and earned his BS, MS, and PhD in BME. He is interested in hands-on instruction – teaching and developing courses related to biomaterials and tissue engineering, as well as design. He was awarded the BMES Student Chapter Teaching Award in 2011, 2013, and 2014 and the Polygon Outstanding BME Instructor Award in 2012.

visit author page


Matthew S. Bollom

visit author page

Matthew Bollom is a 2013 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He currently works for National Instruments in Austin, Texas.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Design and Implementation of Web-based System for Client-based Design Project ManagementBiomedical engineering (BME) students participate in hands-on, client-based, real-world, team-based design projects for six semesters. Through the design process, the students learn a varietyof professional and technical skills These design projects are chosen on the first day of classusing a priority system developed by our Biomedical Student Advisory Committee (BSAC) andstudent teams are expected to maintain a project website to convey their progress and submitdeliverables electronically. During our department’s early years, the assignment process involvedpaper lists, sign-up sheets on walls, and manual counting to ensure that a sufficient number ofprojects were being assigned. Following this, our Biomedical Web Implementation Group(BWIG) chair would manually create the framework for the project webpages. As ourdepartment has doubled in size from 25 projects per semester to now over 50, we found theprocess becoming lengthy and prone to mistakes.In order to better manage the challenges associated with a larger department and the increasedusage of technology in today’s classrooms, we developed a web-based, database-driven systemstarting in early 2010 that allows for the management of the entire design course and providesthe opportunity for students to be involved in the entire process. This system consists of fiveprincipal parts: Ideas, a portal to allow clients to submit project ideas; Project Selection, a drag-and-drop ‘draft style’ interface that allows students to quickly choose projects or submit pre-proposals prior to selection, ensure an appropriate amount of teams are started, and toautomatically create project websites; Project Builder, a tool used by student teams to maintaintheir project websites and submit deliverables electronically; Course, a self-generating semestercourse schedule, list of design course advisors (contact information and expertise), and projectpresentation schedule; and Administration, a faculty tool to manage the semester, accessdeliverables, and download preformatted information for use in other University systems. Thesystem also allows various levels of access for the public and a log in to a ‘My Projects’ interfacefor management by the students, clients, advisors and course coordinators. The system was firstused in September 2010 and has continued to evolve to meet the needs of our design courses.The system is powered using modern web technologies including HTML, CSS, PHP, andJavascript. Data is stored in a MySQL database and is protected with appropriate access controls.The use of standard technologies has allowed for multiple seamless server transitions andupgrades to the codebase from a development website. Students, clients and faculty are also ableto use their personal computers at any time to access the system without the need to installspecialized software.The system has facilitated communication between the students and their clients and advisors. Ithas drastically reduced the hours required to organize the projects and course, thus allowing ourfaculty to focus more on the educational process rather than the logistics of administering thedesign courses. As our department has continued to grow, the system has shown its ability toscale and help maintain the focus of the course on learning.

Puccinelli, J. P., & Bollom, M. S. (2015, June), Design and Implementation of Web-based System for Client-based Design Project Management Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23795

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: © 2015 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