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Enhancement Of Capstone Mechanical Engineering Design Courses With Strong Industrial Participation

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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

Design with External Clients

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.503.1 - 15.503.10



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Paper Authors

author page

Ismail Orabi University of New Haven

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

Enhancement of Capstone Mechanical Engineering Design courses with Strong Industrial Participation


The objective of this paper is to present our findings and experiences in how to use industrial projects successfully, especially in terms of guidelines for selecting projects and managing them throughout the course. This paper will convey the impact of the changes to student learning and overall experience of the faculty involved using industry projects.

The goal was to significantly elevate the quality of project work undertaken, and this was accomplished by having teams of three or four students working under real world constraints of time and budget, to produce a product or process that meet client's specifications. The first step in this process was to secure several projects from industry together with a commitment from a practicing engineer to serve as project liaison (the client). At the end of the semester, the college will hold a senior- project symposium in which each student team will present the results of its work to their clients and other invited to participate in the evaluation process.

This paper will discuss the development of industry-sponsored projects into a mechanical engineering capstone design courses. Examples of the current projects will be presented.


Senior design engineering courses have increasingly used industry-sponsored projects that give students opportunities to address real world problems [1-4]. Capstone design courses are also a site for developing many of the higher-level engineering learning outcomes and those requiring integration of innovation, problem solving and knowledge. The vast majority of capstone design instructors assign great value to the capstone design course [5-6]. Many believe their courses offer potential for achieving and assessing all of the engineering criterion 3 outcomes required by ABET [7].

The mechanical engineering capstone design instructor has initiated the industry- sponsored program for the 2008-2009 student projects. The mechanical engineering capstone design course is intended to be a unique experience for senior engineering students. Students are required to complete a two- semester capstone design course sequence involving the application of their theoretical knowledge to solve pressing real-world problems. Each project includes the development and use of design methodology, formulation of design problem statements and specifications, consideration of alternative solutions, feasibility considerations and detailed system descriptions. Projects include realistic constraints, such as economic factors, safety, reliability, maintenance, aesthetics, ethics, political and social impact. Students are expected to present orally their results in a series of design reviews. The students document their solutions using a written report that includes an executive summary. A working prototype or simulation of their solution, as appropriate, is required to complete the course.

Orabi, I. (2010, June), Enhancement Of Capstone Mechanical Engineering Design Courses With Strong Industrial Participation Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16134

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