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Design Boot Camp: Getting In Shape For A Capstone Experience

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design in the BME Curriculum and ABET Assessment

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Page Count


Page Numbers

11.401.1 - 11.401.4



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Paper Authors


Renee Rogge Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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RENEE D. ROGGE is an Assistant Professor of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering. Her teaching interests include orthopaedic and sports biomechanics, biomaterials, capstone design, and introductory level mechanics courses.

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Glen Livesay Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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GLEN A. LIVESAY is an Associate Professor of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on biomechanics, capstone design, experimental design and data analysis, and experimental biomechanical testing of soft tissues.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design Boot Camp: Getting in Shape for a Capstone Experience Abstract

Boot camp is a training ground for military recruits. The rigors of this experience prepare soldiers for futures in the military. During boot camp, recruits with varied backgrounds are immersed in an environment where they get a “crash course” in strategies that will lead them to success. Similar to a military career, a capstone design experience can be quite stressful to students. However, most engineering programs lack a solid training ground, or boot camp, to indoctrinate students to the world of design. It should come as no surprise that students tend to dread, or even fear, senior design courses. Their fear of the unknown is compounded by the things that they do know, e.g. they know they must (1) select (and solve) an open-ended design problem, (2) work productively as a team, (3) document the design process (which they do not understand), and (4) present (and defend) the results of their efforts to a large audience. Even the most daring of students may be intimidated by this!

Our “Design Boot Camp” is called Principles of Biomedical Design. In this required two credit course, junior biomedical engineering majors are introduced to engineering design methodology. This paper will discuss the layout of the course, the perceived benefits for both students and instructors, and the lessons learned during the first iteration of the course.


Many engineering programs have freshman engineering courses designed to introduce students to the design process early in their careers. Such courses typically focus on communication skills, team work, self-evaluation and reflection, systematic approaches to problem solving, and generating and considering alternative solutions.1 These are critical engineering skills to master and provide freshman with a glimpse into their futures as engineers. In addition, successful experiences in such courses have been correlated with higher retentions rates.2 However, an intense biomedical engineering design experience at the freshman level is difficult to achieve since most “real world” design experiences require advanced analytical skills and body of knowledge that is not readily attainable at the freshman level.

An alternative approach to the freshman-level introduction to design course is an upper-level course taken as a precursor to the senior design capstone course. At this institution, this course is called Principles of Biomedical Design. At the junior level, students already have extensive experience working in teams, communicating in both written and oral forms, and solving problems. An upper-level course can take advantage of student maturity in this skill set to enhance the performance and understanding of the design process.

Course Layout

In the Principles of Biomedical Design course, junior biomedical engineering majors are introduced to the engineering design methodology as utilized in biomedical engineering. Students apply engineering design principles through completion of a team design project with

Rogge, R., & Livesay, G. (2006, June), Design Boot Camp: Getting In Shape For A Capstone Experience Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1194

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