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Design Of Experiment And Project Management Methodologies Support A Senior Project Research Course And Its Assessment

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.361.1 - 15.361.10



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Paper Authors


Peter Baumann Central Connecticut State University

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Dr. Baumann is an Associate Professor of Engineering at CCSU. His industrial experience spans
20 years. He is Past Chairman of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Committee B7 and is on his local ASM International chapter’s Board of Directors. Dr. Baumann
received a B.S. in Metallurgy at Penn State, earned an M.S. from MIT Mechanical Engineering,
and completed a Ph.D. in Materials Science at Polytechnic University. E-mail:

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Nidal Al-Masoud Central Connecticut State University

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

Design of Experiment and Project Management Methodologies Support a Senior Project Research Course and Its Assessment


Motivated by required program learning outcomes and recommendations from a continuous improvement plan focus group, Central Connecticut State University has uniquely organized its mechanical engineering senior project design research class to include significant review of Design of Experiments (DOE) and Project Management (PM) methodologies. Both studies have been linked to computational software tools for students to use in their capstone experience. The ultimate goal of the class is a project design proposal in which researched background information forms the introduction to a managed project plan which can include designed experimentation within the statement of work. This course organization has been found to be both beneficial for student capstone progress and integral to our accreditation efforts, through examinations and reports and their subsequent assessment.


According to Schuster, Davol and Mello at California Polytechnic State University, one of the best ways to engage students is through design activities. They comment on the many popular intercollegiate design competitions which provide motivation to students and list Formula SAE, SAE Mini Baja, and ASME Human Powered Vehicle from their own experiences. It is their contention that “The experience of going through the design, build, and test cycle under a strict time schedule with well defined goals gives these students more of a ‘real world’ engineering experience than they get through their standard course work.” They add that many schools tackle these projects within senior design classes. Their work acknowledges the constraint of development time to be particularly troubling within the management of these projects. They also cited risks associated with a “build-and-test” approach. 1

At Virginia Tech, Pierrakos, Borrego and Lo assess EAC of ABET mechanical engineering program learning outcomes through their senior capstone design experience. They have used Bloom’s taxonomy competencies of (1) knowledge, (2) comprehension, (3) application, (4) analysis, (5) synthesis, and (6) evaluation, to establish cognitive skill level, in addition to their student learning outcomes assessment. A thorough grouping of numerous personal/professional and technical learning outcomes are assessed, and they have observed that the outcome of designing and conducting of experiments is one of the lowest rated. Among outcomes tied to management of the project, “follow a budget” was also rated low. 2

In a paper titled “Competency-Based Engineering Design Projects,” Davis et al. of Washington State University describe the strategic planning of project assignments in team-based design projects as key to achieving design competence. Through the framework of an assignment handout, six important elements are noted: Title, Abstract, Objectives, Tasks (steps), Product expected, and Resources and constraints; the latter three are integral to project management focus on scope, time and cost. Also included in their work are design steps for identifying specific parameters together with the planning and conducting of experiments. 3

Baumann, P., & Al-Masoud, N. (2010, June), Design Of Experiment And Project Management Methodologies Support A Senior Project Research Course And Its Assessment Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16105

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