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Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Two Course Sequence At The State University Of New York At Binghamton

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Engineering Education by Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.932.1 - 9.932.12



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Paper Authors

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George Catalano

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Paper No. 2004-1177

Multi-disciplinary Capstone Two Course Sequence at the State University of New York at Binghamton Dr. George D. Catalano The Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science State University of New York at Binghamton


The mechanical engineering department, and the electrical and computer engineering department at the State University of New York at Binghamton have collaborated to offer a multi-disciplinary senior level, capstone design course. The two- course sequence requires students to demonstrate the ability to apply their formal training in engineering science, design and project-management by executing a real-world project. The projects have been generated both in-house through the sponsorship of a Binghamton University faculty member and externally by an industrial client. Additionally a mechanism was established wherein a team of students developed a project from their own imagination with the requirement that an engineering faculty member serve as the advisor. The course sequence has been offered for the past two years. Data gathered from the offering of the courses as well as assessment of the students’ experiences has shed light on both the strengths and weaknesses of the existing engineering program.

Introduction Each year, more than 100 students receive undergraduate degrees in electrical, computer, systems and industrial and mechanical engineering, the engineering disciplines offered by the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at the State University of New York, Binghamton (SUNY-Binghamton). As required by the guidelines set forth in ABET EC2000, students during their senior year must enroll in and successfully complete a capstone design experience. The capstone design experience helps students begin to bridge the gap between their academic and professional careers by exposing them to the technical demands, potential pitfalls, and professional expectations of engineers and researchers.

Previous to the development of the new multi-disciplinary capstone sequence, each engineering department in the Watson School at SUNY-Binghamton offered its own discipline- specific capstone design course. (Figure 1) At the direction of the dean in September 2000, a committee consisting of all department chairs, undergraduate program directors, and the associate dean for administration was established. This committee met regularly over the course of the academic year and recommended that a pilot multi- disciplinary capstone project sequence be developed and offered beginning in fall 2001. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and the Department of Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Catalano, G. (2004, June), Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Two Course Sequence At The State University Of New York At Binghamton Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12822

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