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Job Readiness Through Multidisciplinary Integrated Systems Capstone Course

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering by Design II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.847.1 - 10.847.13



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Paper Authors

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Mohamed El-Sayed

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Lucy King

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Matthew Sanders

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Jacqueline El-Sayed

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

Job Readiness through Multidisciplinary Integrated Systems Capstone Courses

Lucy King, Mohamed El-Sayed, Matthew S. Sanders, & Jacqueline El-Sayed

Kettering University Flint, MI 48504


Industry wants job-ready engineers from day one. A panel of industry partners pointed out six qualities expected of recent graduates. These engineers need to adopt an enterprise-wide integrated systems approach from product conceptualization to realization. They need to work closely with engineers from different disciplines while maintaining their own technical expertise. Leadership, conflict resolution and inter-departmental collaborative skills are consequently very crucial in an integrative environment. No company can sit on its laurels. Change must happen and change is good even though there is constant resistance to change. These young engineers need to think out-of-the-box to be innovative, and become effective change agents. To address these needs, Kettering University is initiating an effort to establish an interdisciplinary, enterprise-type integrated capstone course that encapsulates students from all available engineering degrees – mechanical, electrical, computer, and industrial with or without a manufacturing option, plus business students. As in industry, students concentrate on tasks corresponding to their own disciplines while multitasking with a number of cross-functional activities. Effective and efficient communication skills and team dynamics are essential. They will work on one product, separating the engineering challenge into modules of various tasks in design, manufacturing, facilities planning and business functions, each task managed by a sub- team. A case study will be presented. As a result, students not only synthesize what they have learned but also apply what they have gained: teamwork experience, collaborative finesse, ability to comprehend the global picture of engineering, the urgency to be innovative, and the drive to become effective leaders. The university gains a better reputation and strengthened bonds among departments.


Today’s work environment demands that engineers be trained in multidisciplinary areas and team-oriented leadership. Industry and Academia must collaborate to expand students’ experience otherwise companies will have to assume the costs of on-the-job training. Many universities provide engineering students with adequate skills and qualifications through their interdisciplinary capstone courses. For example, the capstone design course in the Cullen

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

El-Sayed, M., & King, L., & Sanders, M., & El-Sayed, J. (2005, June), Job Readiness Through Multidisciplinary Integrated Systems Capstone Course Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15048

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