San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.780.1 - 25.780.8
Injecting the Real World into the Capstone Design ExperienceThe engineering community, in many ways, has remained unchanged from previous decades: itis a fast paced environment that, above all else, requires technically proficient engineers.There are however, at least two aspects of engineering that have changed significantly in thepast 10-20 years. There is now a much larger dependence on teamwork and the influence ofthe principles of systems engineering. The student who graduates well grounded in thetechnical skills of his/her major will always be in demand. However, in addition to the sametechnical capabilities, the student who graduates with a clear understanding of the systemsengineering process and views teamwork as the standard way of doing business willautomatically enter the workforce with a distinct advantage. Thus, to be relevant in today’sworld, the Capstone Design experience must, as accurately as possible, reflect the environmentthe students will encounter when they report for work. Through the application of systemsengineering processes to guide the utilization of the technical skills they spent the first threeyears of their undergraduate life learning, the students will gain a much better appreciation forthe design process and its interdependencies, as well as the strengths, and limitations, ofteamwork. In addition, this approach allows the students with true leadership capability to riseto the surface. In many cases, these students may not even realize they were leadershipmaterial.Teaching such a design class, however, requires that the instructor have significant industryexperience. While these are standard industry processes and guidelines, every project isdifferent and practical experience with actual projects and designs, both successful andotherwise, provides the empirical background necessary to avoid slavish adherence to process.The paper will describe the key elements of a program that reflects the integratedcharacteristics outlined above. While not intended as a rigid template or structure, theobjective is to provide a starting point for a college or university desiring to establish such aprogram in its engineering curricula.
Kanipe, D. B. (2012, June), Injecting the Real World into the Capstone Design Experience Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21537
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