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Experiences Of Using Formula Sae As A Capstone Design Project

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Capstone Design Projects

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

22

Page Numbers

15.555.1 - 15.555.22

DOI

10.18260/1-2--15685

Permanent URL

https://www.jee.org/15685

Download Count

560

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Paper Authors

biography

Jennifer Dawson York College of Pennsylvania

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Dr. Jennifer Bower Dawson is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at York College of Pennsylvania where she teaches courses in Machine Design, Controls, and Capstone Design. She earned her MS and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University where she worked on the design and testing of spacecraft hardware for Satellite Test of the Equivalence Principle. Her academic interests include robotics, sensor design, precision engineering, and service learning in engineering education.

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biography

Stephen Kuchnicki York College of Pennsylvania

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Dr. Stephen Kuchnicki is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at York College of Pennsylvania. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Rutgers University, specializing in computational modeling of dynamic deformations in solids. His areas of technical expertise include solid mechanics, crystal plasticity, vibration, and fluid-structure interaction. He received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2001.

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

Experiences of Using Formula SAE as a Capstone Design Project

Abstract

Capstone Design courses are, by their nature, intended to test the abilities students have gained over their college careers and to provide a design experience that simulates real-world engineering. An important factor in giving students a valuable Capstone Design experience is the selection of an appropriate project. A good project for this purpose should have appropriate technical rigor and allow students to focus as much as possible on engineering design rather than on logistical activities like fundraising. Further, the work done by students in the course should be assessable, both for the purposes of accreditation and for assignment of grades. Additionally, the deadlines imposed must be appropriate, and evaluation criteria need to be established.

One solution for many of the project planning aspects of Capstone Design is a student engineering competition, many of which are sponsored by professional societies. The Mechanical Engineering program at York College of Pennsylvania has been using Formula SAE® as a project since 2007, with one or both authors advising the project since 2008. We discuss the pros and cons of such a project as a Capstone Design experience, including its technical merits and scope; how it lends itself to assessment of course outcomes and of student work; time spent on fundraising rather than on design; the effect of imposing a one-year design cycle on this project, when other schools have a multi-year cycle; keeping students focused on the educational rather than competitive aspects of the project; and dealing with conflicts that arise due to the externally-imposed deadlines. We find that such a project is an attractive option for a small program, with its benefits outweighing its downsides. We also give some suggestions for a program that may be considering using this particular project for Capstone Design, including expectations of performance, building from one year to the next, and the limitations of FSAE in terms of assessing course or program objectives and student work.

1.0 Background

1.1 Capstone Design at York College of Pennsylvania

Under the Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education, York College of Pennsylvania is a four-year, medium-sized private four-year institution with professions plus arts and sciences and some graduate coexistence.1 Mechanical engineering majors make-up about 3 annual graduates (about 20 students) and there are no graduate programs in engineering. York College of Pennsylvania has five full-time mechanical engineering faculty members.

There are a number of challenges in administering a successful Capstone Design program at schools like York College of Pennsylvania with small student and faculty populations. With

Dawson, J., & Kuchnicki, S. (2010, June), Experiences Of Using Formula Sae As A Capstone Design Project Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15685

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