June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.700.1 - 7.700.9
Integrating Project Management into the Capstone Senior Design Course
Jay R. Porter, Joseph A. Morgan, and Behbood Zoghi Texas A&M University
The public and private sectors are demanding entry-level technical personnel that are well schooled in the fundamental principles of their respective engineering and technology disciplines. Both of these groups are placing a premium on graduates who have had significant design experiences and have participated in a team environment. Finally, these potential employers are demanding graduates that have the ability to communicate effectively in both written and verbal formats. These new hires will, in all likelihood, become members of project teams and participate as team members and eventually as project managers. The Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (EET/TET) Programs at Texas A&M University have established a mandatory technical project management course that is closely linked to its capstone senior design course. With assistance and participation from a number of large and small companies, EET/TET students now learn about the fundamentals of project management while they prepare for entry to their senior design project. The new course provides the opportunity for students to form teams, evaluate potential project opportunities, arrange for faculty and industry support and sponsorship, and prepare the written documentation and technical presentations that culminates in a formal technical proposal. Using the Project Management Institute (PMI) Body of Knowledge, the students plan the work they will accomplish in their capstone senior design course.
As part of an overall strategic planning function, numerous faculty members of the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (EET/TET) Programs at Texas A&M University met with representatives from a wide range of industries during the Spring and Summer 2001 semesters. These meetings were attended by representatives from the semiconductor, semiconductor equipment manufacturing, telecommunications, and instrumentation industries. The overwhelming recommendation from this diverse set of industries was that more emphasis needed to be placed on a systems approach to engineering technology education. With minor exceptions, companies that have a long-term relationship with the EET and TET academic programs are quite satisfied with the technical knowledge, or hard skills, that the graduates have, but they are not pleased with the project management, or soft skills, that they currently possess. In addition, most industries are very interested in forming even closer alliances with the undergraduate students and wish to leverage the internship experience that students normally have just prior to beginning their senior year of classes.
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2002, American Society for Engineering Education
Porter, J., & Zoghi, B., & Morgan, J. (2002, June), Integrating Project Management Into The Capstone Senior Design Course Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10441
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