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Intercollegiate Student Design Projects: Lessons Learned by Four Universities

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.798.1 - 24.798.9



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Paper Authors

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Nassif E. Rayess University of Detroit Mercy


Brian A. Garner Baylor University

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Dr. Brian A.Garner is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Baylor University. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin in 1998 and joined the Baylor faculty in 2002. His research interests include computer modeling of the human musculoskeletal system, algorithms for human motion analysis, the biomechanics of equine assisted therapies, and the design of therapy-assistance devices. His teaching includes capstone engineering design, machine design, statics, advanced dynamics, biomechanics, and computer modeling in biomechanics.

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Darrell K. Kleinke University of Detroit Mercy


Rebecca P. Blust University of Dayton

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Prof. Rebecca Blust has been the coordinator for the University of Dayton's Innovation Center and Design and Manufacturing Clinic since 2009. She has served as the equity adviser for the School of Engineering and is an associate professor in the department of engineering technology. As equity adviser, Prof. Blust facilitates bias-free faculty searches; reviews annual scorecard data for her college, alerting the department chair and/or dean of inequities based on salary, space, and professional development; and implements equity programming aligned with the unique diversity needs of her unit. Prof. Blust is also the representative for the School of Engineering on the university's promotion and tenure committee, and has served as a university faculty mediator for the associate provost at UD.
Prof. Blust was the Co-PI on a $200,000 NSF STEM grant in addition to a $500,000 grant from the Kern Family Foundation. She currently serves as the academic adviser to the UD Women’s Engineering Sorority (Phi Sigma Rho) and has participated in UD’s Women in Engineering summer camp for the past 10 years as well as Explore Engineering. Prof. Blust is dedicated to community service and has developed and participated in the Lunch Buddies program, which pairs female engineering students with 6th and 7th grade girls every Friday to do STEM activities. She also has served as the director of Camp Invention, a program that fosters creativity and invention among K-5th graders.

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William M. Jordan Baylor University

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William Jordan is the mechanical engineering department chair at Baylor University. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in metallurgical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, an M.A. degree in theology from Denver Seminary, and a Ph.D. in mechanics and materials from Texas A & M University. He teaches materials-related courses and does work in the area of mechanical behavior of composite materials. He is also interested in entrepreneurship and appropriate technology in developing countries.

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Edmond John Dougherty Jr. Villanova University

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Mr. Dougherty, president of Ablaze Development Corp., is the director of engineering entrepreneurship at Villanova University and an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering department. He is a graduate of Villanova and Drexel universities and has over 30 years of experience in the design, development, and management of complex electronic and software systems.

At Villanova, Mr. Dougherty specializes in product design, electronics design, engineering project management, and artificial intelligence. He was part of a team that won an Emmy Award for technical achievement in the development of the Skycam, an aerial robotic control camera system.

In 2008, Mr. Dougherty was given the Philadelphia IEEE Member Award for his contributions to technology, and the 2013 Villanova University Myer Innovation and Creative Excellence (ICE) Award. He has 13 U.S. patents, with additional patents pending.

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Intercollegiate Student Design Projects: Lessons Learned by Four Universities.Four Universities (University A, University B, University C and University D) have piloted a series ofintercollegiate senior design projects where students from different schools collaborate on seniorprojects.Two types of project structure are employed. The first has the teams collaborating on the customerdiscovery and ideation phase while building separate designs. The second has the teams collaboratingall throughout the project up to delivery of a single prototype that is assembled from components builtby the various teams. The second type requires that two teams agree on a single design and to dividethe prototyping responsibilities. In cases where two subsystems have to be integrated together, thedocumentation required is very daunting and the resulting experience can vary from rewarding todisastrous. This paper presents the various project structures employed as well as assessmentconducted by interviewing the students and instructors and using self-assessment of the studentmindset.Another variation of the projects has the students working with corporate clients (industry sponsoredprojects), with individual clients (people with disabilities, inventors, etc…) or on competition projects.These variations also lead to very different experiences for the student teams. This paper presents thelesson learned.Also, the gender makeup of the teams varied with some predominantly male teams to others withbalanced ratio of males to females. The authors found the gender makeup to have strong influence onthe project success and the student experience, although the evidence for that is somewhat anecdotalat this stage.This rich mosaic of educational experiments will be presented along with assessment and lessonslearned.

Rayess, N. E., & Garner, B. A., & Kleinke, D. K., & Blust, R. P., & Jordan, W. M., & Dougherty, E. J. (2014, June), Intercollegiate Student Design Projects: Lessons Learned by Four Universities Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20690

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