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Designettes in Capstone: Characterizing the Impact of Early Design Experiences on Students' Capstone Education

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

1st and 2nd Year Instruction in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/p.26692

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26692

Download Count

88

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Paper Authors

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Cory A. Cooper United States Air Force

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Lieutenant Colonel Cory Cooper is currently the Director of the Systems Engineering Program and Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in
Colorado Springs, Colorado. He holds a PhD an MSc in Systems Engineering from the Technical University of Delft and the Air Force Institute of Technology respectively. He has held various developmental engineering and program management positions in the US Air Force, to include Deputy Director for Airworthiness in the F-35 Lightning II Program Office, deployed Joint Combat Damage Assessor for US/Coalition/Contractor/Afghan aircraft in
Afghanistan, Chief of Operations for the Systems Engineering Program at USAFA, Mechanical Systems Engineer in the C/KC-135 Program Office, and deployed Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Engineer for B-1B aircraft.

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Michael Lawrence Anderson United States Air Force

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Lt Col Mike Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Mechanics at the US Air Force Academy where he has taught since 2004. He received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering at the US Air Force Academy, and University of Utah, respectively, and his PhD in Aeronautical Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology in 2011. He has worked as an F-16 flight control actuation systems engineer, researched design and control of quadruped robots, led research and development of advanced Air Force munitions, and led research in GPS-denied navigation for multi-agent autonomous systems for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Lt Col Anderson has been researching innovative design methodologies and autonomous systems for 12 years, authoring several papers relevant to the field, including award-winning research into the design and control of flapping wing Micro Air Vehicles. Lt Col Anderson is a registered Professional Engineer and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 2013 he was named the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Field Grade Officer of the Year, and in 2014, he was awarded AFRL’s Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in R&D out of over 3,000 of his peers.

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Daniel D. Jensen U.S. Air Force Academy

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Dr. Dan Jensen is a Professor of Engineering Mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he has been since 1997. He received his B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), M.S. (Applied Mechanics) and Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering Science) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked for Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, NASA, University of the Pacific, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and MSC Software Corp. His research includes design of Micro Air Vehicles, development of innovative design methodologies and enhancement of engineering education. Dr Jensen has authored over 100 refereed papers and has been awarded over $4 million of research grants.

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Joseph M. Fulton U.S. Air Force Academy

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Dr. Joseph Fulton is currently an Assistant Professor of Systems Engineering and Director of Assessment and Accreditation for the SE Program at USAFA. He holds a PhD and MS in Astronautical Engineering from the University of Colorado and the Air Force Institute of Technology respectively. He
has held various developmental engineering and program management positions in the US Air Force,
to include Deputy Group Commander of Wideband Satellite Communications, Chief Engineer of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite constellation and Program Manager of the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) at the Space and Missiles Systems Center in Los Angeles, California. In addition, he served as the Deputy Head of the Department of Astronautics at USAFA and as a Flight Commander and Instructor for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) operations at Malmstrom Air
Force Base, Montana.

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Kristin L. Wood Singapore University of Technology and Design

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Dr. Kristin L. Wood is currently a Professor and Head of Pillar, Engineering and Product Development (EPD), and Co-Director of the SUTD-MIT International Design Center (IDC) at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Dr. Wood completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology, where he was an AT&T Bell Laboratories Ph.D. Scholar. Dr. Wood joined the faculty at the University of Texas in September 1989 and established a computational and experimental laboratory for research in engineering design and manufacturing, in addition to a teaching laboratory for prototyping, reverse engineering measurements, and testing. During his academic career, Dr. Wood was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy. Through 2011, Dr. Wood was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Design & Manufacturing Division at The University of Texas at Austin. He was a National Science Foundation Young Investigator, the “Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering,” “University Distinguished Teaching Professor,” and the Director of the Manufacturing and Design Laboratory (MaDLab) and MORPH Laboratory. Dr. Wood has published more than 350 refereed articles and books; has received more than 40 national and international awards in design, research, and education; and is currently a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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Abstract

Full engineering design experiences often require months to accomplish. In an effort to incorporate design and design thinking into curriculum without consuming extensive time, the use of shortened design experiences, which have been labeled “designettes”, has been undertaken. Designettes provide a partial design experience. The designette can do this by either removing certain parts of a full design process, or by shortening certain steps, or both. These designettes are often used in STEM classes to enhance motivation for the course’s content by showing applicability to a real-world problem. They can also be used to expose students, or practicing professionals, to the fundamentals of the design process. In some capstone courses, students may experience design process activities such as “Customer Needs Analysis”, “Functional Decomposition”, “Concept Generation”, “Concept Selection” and “Prototype Planning” for the first time. The designette allows students an initial experience with the design process that can provide a “learning scaffold” for their implementation of the full suite of design methods over the course of a longer project. For the last four years, we have implemented several versions of a designette in our two-semester capstone design sequence where project teams of 4-8 students are assigned to larger, externally sponsored design projects. In our uses of the designette, the suite of five design process activities mentioned above were taught in an abbreviated form. In the current research, the project focus of the designette was selected from one of two options: either a small, related portion of the larger project or the designette’s project was totally unrelated to the larger project. The advantage of the designette being a small part of the larger project is that the time spent on the designette is directly related to the project goals of that larger project. The advantage of having an unrelated designette is that the students feel freedom to take risks and focus on creativity and innovation because they do not experience the stress related to satisfying the sponsor that comes with the larger project. Also, a contrived design challenge can be selected that is closer to the right scope, and/or potentially more interesting, motivating, easier to prototype, and is familiar to students so it requires less background research. Faculty and student feedback was primarily used to characterize and compare the designette’s effectiveness. The current research shows that there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to having the designette project either related, or unrelated to the longer term, sponsored project. Those who implement designettes can use the detailed data provided in this research to determine which approach best matches their capstone program’s distinctive attributes and goals.

Cooper, C. A., & Anderson, M. L., & Jensen, D. D., & Fulton, J. M., & Wood, K. L. (2016, June), Designettes in Capstone: Characterizing the Impact of Early Design Experiences on Students' Capstone Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26692

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