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Developing A Capstone Course For Telecommunications Engineering Technology

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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

Electrical ET Projects and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.426.1 - 11.426.10



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Paper Authors

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Austin Asgill Southern Polytechnic State University


Thomas Fallon Southern Polytechnic State University

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Thomas J. Fallon received his BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. degree in Astrophysics from Georgia State University. He is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University and is coordinator of the BSTCET program. He has 20 years of telecommunications industry experience, conducts networking workshops, and is author of the book The Internet Today. His astrophysics Ph.D. research at Georgia State University involved remote operation of a telescope array via the Internet 2.

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Walter E. Thain Jr.

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Walter E. Thain, Jr. received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Southern Polytechnic State University and teaches in the areas of voice and data networking, communications systems design, analog electronics, antenna design, and digital electronics. He spent 12 years in industry designing mixed analog-digital systems, including short-pulse radars and antennas, low-noise analog circuits, RF circuits, frequency synthesizers, and switching power supplies. He is co-inventor on a patent for the design of electronic instrumentation used to steer oil wells while drilling. He also holds a Cisco Certified Network Associate certification.

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



The Telecommunications Engineering Technology (TCET) program at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) has experienced tremendous growth since its inception in 1999. The program has been one of the fastest growing programs within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) Department, and received its first ever full ABET accreditation in 2003, retroactive to 2000.

The TCET students get hands-on experiences in telecommunications networks analysis and the various aspects related to the administration and management of such networks. A primary goal of the program from its inception has been to develop a capstone course in which students demonstrate their competence gained via the program by the successful completion of a team project and associated report.

This paper discusses the development of the telecommunications project course as a capstone course for the TCET program at SPSU. The most recent project involved the setting up of a voice-over-IP (VoIP) network using Cisco routers and equipment available in our telecommunications laboratory. The VoIP network operated over a Frame Relay (FR) cloud and incorporated security aspects into the design. In the final design, the students demonstrated that the network could also be used for sending video over the network. Preliminary results based on student performance and feed-back from those students who have taken the course are presented; they indicate that the course has been successful in meeting the intended goals. Due to the successful outcome the ECET department has accepted this course to serve as the capstone course for the TCET program.

I. Introduction

Eight years ago a multidisciplinary Baccalaureate degree program in Telecommunications Engineering Technology (BSTCET) was approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and offered at Southern Polytechnic State University1. The BSTCET program is a multidisciplinary degree program that has evolved via a process of continuous improvement. One such improvement has been the transformation of the senior project course into a comprehensive telecommunications capstone course. The current program is comprised of four major components: Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) prerequisites, university core courses, management courses, and the following eight BSTCET-specific courses2,3,4.

ECET 2800 – Introduction to Telecommunications ECET 3810 – C++, Java, and HTML ECET 4820 – Communication Networks and the Internet

Asgill, A., & Fallon, T., & Thain Jr., W. E. (2006, June), Developing A Capstone Course For Telecommunications Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1236

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