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Ocean Related Senior Design Projects For Mechanical Engineers At Umass Dartmouth

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Projects in Ocean and Marine Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.883.1 - 8.883.7



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Paper Authors

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Diane DiMassa

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

Session 1478

Ocean-Related Senior Design Projects for Mechanical Engineers at UMass Dartmouth1

Prof. Diane E. DiMassa Mechanical Engineering II-116, U Mass Dartmouth 285 Old Westport Rd., North Dartmouth, MA 02747 508-910-6606

Abstract This paper discusses several ocean-related capstone design projects completed by mechanical engineering students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Some projects are detailed analytical projects that involved complex simulations, others are systems engineering projects that involved manufacturing and prototype testing. Different aspects of the design process are emphasized by the different styles of project, and all met with success. Several projects were performed in collaboration with other Departments at UMD or with local institutions that work in the oceanographic field. Neither students nor faculty advisors were assigned specific projects, yet nearly one third of the capstone design projects completed in the last three years have had an ocean or marine emphasis.

Introduction Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD) are required to take a capstone design course in their senior year. Until fall 2002, this 4-credit course was offered during the spring semester only. Beginning in the fall of 2002, the course was changed to a 2-semester sequence, offering 2 credits for each semester. In the fall semester, students are expected to form design teams, select a design project, secure a faculty advisor for that project, write a project proposal that includes both a schedule and a budget, and begin design work. Another major component of the fall course is practical engineering ethics. During the spring semester, the students are expected to complete their design projects, write a comprehensive final report, and publicly present their design projects before the faculty, a panel of judges from industry, and their fellow students. Students meet weekly with both their project advisor and the course facilitator, and write weekly memos updating their progress. Although there is no formal program at UMD for ocean or marine-related engineering, several senior design projects of late have had a marine emphasis. On occasion, these projects have a connection with other departments or facilities of the University of Massachusetts or local research institutions. For example, one project was conducted through the Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST), a UMass- affiliated research laboratory that has recently started a Ph.D. program. One project was done in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, one of the US premier ocean research facilities; and another project was completed jointly with students 1 The author was the course instructor for all projects presented in this paper; however, the author was not necessarily the project technical advisor. The information presented in this paper was obtained through meeting with the students and th e project proposals and reports submitted by the students for the course.

DiMassa, D. (2003, June), Ocean Related Senior Design Projects For Mechanical Engineers At Umass Dartmouth Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12125

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