June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.566.1 - 10.566.6
Enhancing Capstone Design with an Industry Sponsored Project Center
Shih-Liang (Sid) Wang
Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design
Senior capstone design courses have become a critical component of undergraduate engineering education, as mandated by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The Mechanical Engineering Senior Capstone Design at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T) is a two-semester project course. The course allows students to take design projects from conceptual design to prototype fabrication, testing and evaluation. Projects are ranging from industry sponsored projects and design competitions sponsored by professional societies. The competitions include Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aero Design Competition, Formula SAE, and Mini Baja, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Design Competition. Industry sponsored projects include those from Gillette, Boeing, Caterpillar, Kimberly Clark, Michelin, and others.
Industry sponsored projects allow students to work on actual, meaningful engineering design projects that relate theory with practical applications. Sponsoring companies provide opportunities for students to gain experience with realistic applications along with funding to support the project. Unfortunately, NC A&T is not adjacent to major industrial regions, and the distance between the University and sponsoring companies tend to limit effective implementation of projects. Scheduling plant tours for students to view background information is difficult or impossible, and similar difficulties exist in building relationships with liaison engineers. An effective liaison engineer must dedicate a fair amount of time to address student questions, review designs, and help find supporting data and information. In the current climate of corporate lean operation, few engineers are in a position to volunteer their time in this capacity.
Another barrier to industry sponsored projects is a lack of strong mentoring by faculty members who are experienced in the subject area. Each capstone design course at NC A&T is coordinated by a faculty member, with remaining faculty members assigned as advisors to individual project sections on a rotating basis. Unfortunately, rotating faculty advisors does not help build expertise specific to subject areas, as most faculty have little or no industrial experience.
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education"
Wang, S. S. (2005, June), Enhancing Capstone Design With An Industry Sponsored Project Center Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14626
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