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Identifying And Implementing Projects For A Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Projects Course At Carnegie Mellon

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Capstone Design Projects in Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.712.1 - 11.712.11



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Paper Authors

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John Wesner Carnegie Mellon University

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Richard Hoff Carnegie MellonUniversity

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Cristina Amon Carnegie Mellon University

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

Identifying and Implementing Projects for a Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Projects Course at Carnegie Mellon


This paper describes the process of identifying, selecting, and implementing sponsored projects in a multidisciplinary Engineering Design Projects Course at Carnegie Mellon University. In order for the course to be most effective, the projects made available to student teams in a multidisciplinary projects course need to have several characteristics, including being “realistic” (i.e., needed by someone), having multidisciplinary aspects so that all team members can contribute, and allowing for significant results within a single semester. At the same time, each project must have the potential to produce useful results for the sponsor, while not requiring unreasonable contributions, and be priced appropriately. This paper shares the lessons learned as we have managed these, at times, conflicting issues in a course which has been successfully offered for twelve semesters and involves a mix of one-time and repeat sponsors from industry, government agencies, non-profits, and the university community.


We have previously described1 a course sponsored by the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) at Carnegie Mellon University, a continuation of the former NSF Engineering Design Research Center (EDRC). This is a project-based engineering design course that is open not only to Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering students, but also to the entire campus community. This is one of a series of courses offered at Carnegie Mellon which integrate design education, research and engineering practice2-4.

The Engineering Design Projects Course is unique because it allows teams of upper class and graduate students from several academic areas, including the humanities, business, and fine arts in addition to various engineering disciplines, to work on design projects sponsored by industry, government agencies, non-profits, or organizations within the university. The intent is to give the participating students a hands-on, integrative, multidisciplinary experience in the important field of engineering design.

Wesner, J., & Hoff, R., & Amon, C. (2006, June), Identifying And Implementing Projects For A Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Projects Course At Carnegie Mellon Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--333

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