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On Teaching Capstone Design: The Role of Practitioners in the Classroom

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education (DEED) Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.941.1 - 23.941.15



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Paper Authors


Waddah Akili Iowa State University

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Dr. Waddah Akili is an academician and a civil engineering consultant in Ames, Iowa. He has been published in various fields including: geotechnical engineering, foundations, and pavement materials and design. He has been involved with contemporary engineering education issues, addressing a range of topics of interest and relevance to engineering institutions and practicing engineers in the U.S. and abroad.

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On Teaching Capstone Design: The Role of Practitioners in the ClassroomAbstract:Teaching engineering design through senior projects or capstone design courses, withindustry involvement and support, has increased in recent years. Increasing the designcomponent in engineering curricula is part of an effort to better prepare graduates forengineering practice. While some design projects are still of the “made up” type carriedout by individual students, the vast majority of projects today deal with “real-worldproblems” and are usually conducted by student teams. The paper begins first, by brieflyreviewing the design as a “thought” process, focusing on several dimensions of “designthinking” and how “design thinking” skills are acquired. Second, the paper reports on thedevelopment, implementation, and subsequent evaluation of a senior design course at aninternational university, where practitioners have played a major role in planning andteaching the capstone course. The new restructured design course, co-taught bypractitioners from the Region, has met its declared objectives and exposed students toprofessional practice. The capstone experience, reported on in this paper, serves as amicrocosm of the four year program. Experiences and outputs from the course can beused to provide guidance and insights into curricular changes, teaching methods, andexposure to the practice. It also helps in establishing enduring connections with theindustrial sector.

Akili, W. (2013, June), On Teaching Capstone Design: The Role of Practitioners in the Classroom Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22326

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