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Managing Senior Design Projects To Maximize Success: The Tat Team

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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

Capstone/Design Projects: Electrical ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.914.1 - 10.914.11



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Paper Authors

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Jay Porter

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George Wright

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Joseph Morgan

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

Session 1347

Managing Senior Design Projects to Maximize Success: The TAT Team

J.A. Morgan, G. Wright, J. R. Porter

Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843


The typical engineering technology curriculum culminates in a capstone senior design course or sequence. The goal of this course/sequence is to have students demonstrate their mastery of the concepts they have learned throughout their degree program. While many different approaches to senior design courses exist, most programs require the students to work in teams to design and implement a “product” that requires skills related to their major.

In the past, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (EET/TET) Programs at Texas A&M used a typical model for senior design where the entire class met once a week in a standard lecture format so that each team could present a short synopsis of their progress. The teams were then left to their own devices to work on their projects until the next lecture. This methodology produced unreliable results with a few excellent teams completing their projects while most groups achieved varying degrees of success (or failure). Although there is something to be said for allowing students to pass or fail on their own merits, it is also true that for most students the capstone senior design course is their first attempt at a true open- ended design problem where they pose the question and develop the answer. Without access to continual technical and project management review, valuable learning opportunities are lost.

The EET/TET Programs have adopted a new approach to managing the capstone design sequence. The sequence is now divided into two courses. The first course has three primary objectives. The students - learn the fundamentals of project management including topics such as proposal writing, risk management, scheduling, financial management, etc… - find a real-world sponsored project and develop a preliminary design that is ready for implementation. - identify a technical assistance team that will be available as a resource to them as they implement their design. It is this team that will guide the students to a successful outcome in their second semester.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Porter, J., & Wright, G., & Morgan, J. (2005, June), Managing Senior Design Projects To Maximize Success: The Tat Team Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15336

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