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Examining the Impacts of a Multidisciplinary Engineering Capstone Design Program

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Capstone Projects, Design Projects, and Teamwork

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.560.1 - 23.560.16



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Paper Authors


Jacob T Allenstein The Ohio State University

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Jacob Allenstein graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.Sc. in aerospace engineering and is currently in pursuit of a M.Sc., while working as a Research Associate at the Ohio State University.

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Bob Rhoads Ohio State University

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Bob Rhoads, P.E, Capstone Program Coordinator, BSME - Ohio State University, MBA - Regis University, over 12 yrs. Industry Manufacturing Experience.

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Peter Rogers The Ohio State University

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Dr. Peter Rogers,
Professor of Practice
Engineering Education Innovation Center
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210

Rogers joined the university in October, 2008 bringing with him 35 years of industrial experience. His career includes senior leadership roles in engineering, sales, and manufacturing in robotics, electronics, sensors, and controls industries. Throughout his career, Rogers has developed products using an innovative process consisting of multidisciplinary teams focused on understanding customer needs and converting them to commercially viable products and services. He brings this experience to the university where he leads the effort in developing company-sponsored, product-oriented Capstone design programs.
As part of the mission of the Engineering Education Innovation Center (EEIC), Rogers has co-led the development of an ABET approved curriculum for a year-long Capstone experience. With a focus on providing students with a broader experience base, the multidisciplinary program applies teams of engineers, business, design, and other students to work with Ohio companies to help them be more competitive. Teams apply a company’s core competencies to help develop new products and markets. This experiential learning emphasizes real-world problem solving, professional communication and ethics, teamwork, and implementation of a formalized design process.
Additionally, Rogers has created the Social Innovation and Commercialization initiative by collaborating with business, engineering, and design colleges. Partnering with local non-profit organizations, teams define unmet problems working with people with various disabilities—problems that can be solved with an innovative product. The educational goal is to provide experiential learning with a social outreach. The social goal is to produce income to help non-profit partners become self-sustaining while improving the independence of people with disabilities.
Rogers earned his PhD at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst focused on mechanical engineering and manufacturing. He has presented a number of industrial conference papers and holds several patents. He served as co-chair of the organizing committee for the 2012 Capstone Design Conference and is a member of the CDHub web development team. He holds the position of Professor of Practice at The Ohio State University.

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Clifford A Whitfield Ohio State University

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Received his Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Ohio State University in 2009, and is currently working as Lecturer and Senior Researcher for the Engineering Education Innovation Center and the Aeronautical and Astronautical Research Laboratories at Ohio State.

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Examining the Impacts of a Multidisciplinary Engineering Capstone Design ProgramThe [Institution Center] at [Institution] offers students through its Multidisciplinary EngineeringCapstone Design Program, a broad range of opportunities for both engineering and non-engineering students to work directly with industry personnel on company-sponsored productand process design projects. The [Institution Center] provides students an opportunity to applytheir academics and practical skills to real-world problems while working on a multidisciplinaryteam. The program has been arranged as a two-semester design sequence beginning with a pre-capstone course for the first seven week of the semester. After completion of the pre-capstonecourse, students are distributed into teams and assigned a faculty advisor and an industry liaisonto ensure success of the project.The program is set to enrich the learning experience by providing the students an opportunity towork with industry while applying their academic background. The program covers all aspectsof the engineering design process and helps demonstrate the importance of several criticalprofessional skills such as; further developing the students’ technical oral and writtencommunication, develop professional and working relations between team members, project andtime management, ethics, and a broad understanding of relationship of business, engineering, anddesign elements. The program provides an opportunity for student design teams to contribute toreal industry products by experiencing the complete design cycle which includes; defining theproblem, creating the requirements, creating design concepts, developing detailed specifications,creating a detailed design solution, building a prototype, validating the design, refining thedesign, documenting the design process and identifying future recommendations.To determine the value of this educational experience, an alumni-based survey was distributed topost graduates who completed the multidisciplinary capstone program. The survey focused onthe initial and potentially lasting effects of the multidisciplinary capstone and its impact on thepost graduates in their career. The survey includes both learning objectives of the program aswell as industry focus areas in the initial interview process of the student. The results from thesurvey will be used to continue to improve the multidisciplinary industry-sponsored program tomeet both the program learning objectives and provide a well-rounded and positivemultidisciplinary industry-sponsored experience for the students.

Allenstein, J. T., & Rhoads, B., & Rogers, P., & Whitfield, C. A. (2013, June), Examining the Impacts of a Multidisciplinary Engineering Capstone Design Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19574

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