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Experiencing Capstone Design Problem Statements

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Design I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.610.1 - 25.610.17



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Paper Authors


Gene Dixon East Carolina University

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Gene Dixon teaches aspiring engineers at the undergraduate level at East Carolina University. He has held positions in industry with Union Carbide, Chicago Bridge & Iron, E.I. DuPont & deNemours, Westinghouse Electric, CBS, Viacom, and Washington Group. He has spoken to more than 25,000 people as a corporate trainer, a teacher, and a motivational speaker. He received a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering and engineering management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a master's of business administration from Nova Southeastern University, and a bachelor's of science in materials engineering from Auburn University. He has authored several book chapters and articles on follower component of leadership and is active in research on the leadership processes.

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Experiencing Capstone Design Problem StatementFormulating a project problem statement is challenging for the capstone student. The process(es)of formulating problem statements found in the literature parallel the design process itself. Thespecifics are not quite as clear as to what should or should not be included in the problemstatement. Frequently capstone design reports provide design objectives in lieu of a definitiveproblem statement.For those projects with problem statements, the content can vary significantly. Identifying whatis a thorough problem statement may depend on the project itself. Assessing the problemstatement quality requires a rubric and problem statement rubrics are not described in thecapstone literature.This paper describes findings from a qualitative exploration of problem statements and problemstatement assessments and evaluations. The exploration was undertaken in an effort to alignfaculty and students in understanding the value and content of a quality design problemstatement for use in a two-semester senior design capstone sequence.

Dixon, G. (2012, June), Experiencing Capstone Design Problem Statements Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21367

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