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Integration of Capstone Experience and Externally Funded Faculty Research

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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 Projects and Experiential Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.818.1 - 25.818.17



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Paper Authors


Wei Zhan Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Wei Zhan is an Assistant Professor of electronics engineering technology at Texas A&M University. Zhan earned his D.Sc. in systems science from Washington University in St. Louis in 1991. From 1991 to 1995, he worked at the University of California, San Diego, and Wayne State University. From 1995 to 2006, he worked in the automotive industry as a System Engineer. In 2006, he joined the electronics engineering technology faculty at Texas A&M. His research activities include control system theory and applications to industry, system engineering, robust design, modeling, simulation, quality control, and optimization.

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Ana Elisa P. Goulart Texas A&M University


Joseph A. Morgan Texas A&M University

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Joseph A. Morgan has more than 20 years of military and industry experience in electronics and telecommunications systems engineering. He joined the Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department in 1989 and has served as the Program Director of the Electronics and Telecommunications programs and as the Associate Department Head for Operations. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering (1975) from California State University, Sacramento, and his M.S. (1980) and D.E. (1983) degrees in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. His education and research interests include project management, innovation and entrepreneurship, and embedded product/system development.

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Matt Allen Bird Maxim Integrated Products

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Stephen Peck

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  Integration of Capstone Experience and Faculty ResearchAbstractCapstone projects are important components in undergraduate educational experience. At _____University, students are required to go through a two-semester design process to develop newproducts. The capstone projects are typically sponsored by industrial partners. The industry-sponsored projects allow students to work on real-world projects with inputs from engineers andcustomers and have brought critically important benefits to the Electronics EngineeringTechnology and Telecommunication Engineering Technology (EET/TET) programs at ____University.Recently, several capstone projects were sponsored by faculty members instead of industrialpartners. These projects played an important role of supporting some larger scale funded facultyresearch projects. Undergraduate students involved in these projects as a capstone team had towork with graduate students, faculty members, and customers. Software, hardware, interface,system integration, and testing all involved other researchers instead of just the capstone team.This created new challenges in terms of team work, communication, documentation, scheduling,and many other aspects of project management. In a sense, these kinds of projects resemblelarger scale projects in industry. In addition to the student learning during their capstoneexperience, the faculty members were more motivated and more actively involved. In this article,a capstone project sponsored by faculty members will be discussed. Two faculty members inEET/TET program received external funding from American Public Power Association todevelop a low cost intelligent transformer monitoring device. The faculty members and twograduate students focused on theoretical analysis and feasibility study of the control algorithm.The undergraduate capstone team was tasked to design a prototype that has the capabilities ofcollecting sensor data, processing the raw data including conversions and filtering, sendingalarms and text message to control center and designated users via cellular communication, andsaving data to a USB device. The capstone team also took the algorithm that was developed andvalidated in MATLAB by the graduate students and faculty members and implemented in amicrocontroller. Two operating modes were designed to meet the requirement of collecting datafor research purpose and normal operation for production purpose. Easy to use graphical userinterface developed in LabVIEW was also designed by the capstone team.The process, benefits, and lessons learned during this project will be discussed in this paper.

Zhan, W., & Goulart, A. E. P., & Morgan, J. A., & Bird, M. A., & Peck, S. (2012, June), Integration of Capstone Experience and Externally Funded Faculty Research Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21575

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