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Industrial Capstone And Design Projects For Manufacturing And Mechanical Et Students Already Employed In Industry

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Industrial Collaborations and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.886.1 - 12.886.10



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Paper Authors

author page

Lawrence Wolf Oregon Institute of Technology

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


At the extension sites in Portland, Oregon Institute of Technology bachelor-degree students in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology employed full-time in technical positions in industry have since 1999 been doing their senior projects on the job at their places of employment. Up to this time, seventy-three projects have been completed and more than forty employers have been involved in these projects. This approach has proven to be of great value to all concerned. Much experience that has been gained is shared in this paper.

The topics addressed are: The characteristics of the students and the employers who have participated; types and examples of projects performed; faculty visitations and supervision; the development of the relationship between the student, the industrial supervisor, and the faculty advisor; the project proposal-acceptance process; funding of the projects; the final visit; issues and assurances relating to proprietary information and student confidentiality; lessons learned regarding proprietary issues; reportage; and the seminar process.

The paper concludes with a list of the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities encountered by students doing their capstone experiences on the job at the sites where they are employed.


The reasons for industry participation in student projects were legitimized by the National Academy of Science with the statement, “Capstone design faculty increasingly seek corporate sponsorship and involvement in senior projects, recognizing the value for students in responding to “real-world” needs, expectations, and constraints.”1 Recently several fine engineering technology papers have appeared in the ASEE literature on the involvement of industry in senior project or capstone course activities.2,3,4,5 Those papers address full-time students working with industry on a temporary basis; however, this paper is about part-time students who have full-time permanent positions in industry. The conclusions are mostly the same, except for the added importance of attention to proprietary information and student confidentiality when the projects or on an industrial site.

The Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) bachelor-degree students in Manufacturing Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology (M&MET) at the OIT extension sites in Portland are what have been classified as “degree-completion students.” To OIT this means that they transfer into the programs having completed associate degrees or the equivalent from a community college or another four-year institution. And they are normally employed full-time in technical positions in industry while enrolled in the BS-degree portion of their education. Since 1999, most of those students have been doing their senior projects, consisting of three academic quarters, “on the job” at their places of employment.

Wolf, L. (2007, June), Industrial Capstone And Design Projects For Manufacturing And Mechanical Et Students Already Employed In Industry Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1911

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