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Effective Capstone Project in Manufacturing Design Engineering Program

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Manufacturing Materials and Processes

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.453.1 - 24.453.21



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Paper Authors


Shekar Viswanathan National University

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Dr. Viswanathan is a Professor at National University with the department of Applied Engineering. He has over 20 years of industrial and 20 years of teaching experience.

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Gary Bright Ph.D. National University

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Dr. Bright is an adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Engineering at National University. He has an interdisciplinary background in cell biology, bioengineering, and biophysics with a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Post-doctoral work in Biophyics and Bioengineering. After 9 years as an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University Medical School, he entered the commercial biotechnology field for 12 years as Scientific Director (Cellomics, Inc., now ThermoFisher, Inc), Chief Science Officer (Bioptechs, Inc.), and Senior Director of Applications (Cyntellect, Inc.). He subsequently formed Bright Biotechnology Consulting to help transition startup companies into full scale commercial operations and integrate science and engineering operations. He also returned to academia at National University as an adjunct professor.

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Effective Capstone Project in Manufacturing Design Engineering Program Shekar Viswanathan and Gary BrightFinal program projects (capstone course) in manufacturing design engineering at NationalUniversity are intensive experiences in critical analysis, designed to broaden students’perspectives and provide an opportunity for integration of coursework in the area ofmanufacturing design engineering. Typically, projects focus on the application of materialslearned throughout the program to solve multi-faceted problems such as those they wouldencounter in the students’ post-academic future employment. The projects selected must be easyto comprehend, however, should provide opportunities to apply concepts from many courses anddevelop critical thinking and analytical skills. Typically, students select project topics under theguidance of a faculty advisor, analyze the problem and formulate a detailed plan to reach asolution, perform necessary evaluations and/or experimentations, identify and/or proposemeaningful results and solutions, test the proposal to the extent possible, and prepare a detailedreport and associated presentation. Projects are done usually in teams. The ‘front end’ projectplan and the ‘back end’ documentation and presentation are both important elements.This paper summarizes a project experience done on two projects namely an office chair designand development of an improved balloon marker placement system for catheter manufacturing.In the first project, the student teams were required to design an ergonomic office chair sold byIKEA, the largest furniture retailer in the world. Each team was requested to come up with anoffice chair design ready for manufacturing. The requirements for the chair included the use byindividuals with weight 250 lbs, and height 6’ 6” in 8 hour per day in an office environment. Thechair was to be used by individuals working on the computer and hence expected to have therequired ergonomic chair design features built in. The second project involved the design andcreation of two tools to improve the current method for balloon marker placement andverification of marker position for the purpose of eliminating operator induced variability.In these projects, each team was required to provide design details ready for manufacturingincluding features (ergonomic and eco features), specification, state of art cushions, materialsection, cost and manufacturing process, and testing strategies. This paper will summarize thedesign methodologies and strategies adopted by the students. In addition, this paper willsummarize how a capstone project in manufacturing design engineering should be designed formaximum effectiveness based on the experiences from this project. This paper will also highlightdo’s and don’ts list.

Viswanathan, S., & Bright, G. (2014, June), Effective Capstone Project in Manufacturing Design Engineering Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20344

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