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Practicing and Assessing Formal Systems Competencies in ECE Senior Design

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Systems Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.990.1 - 24.990.21



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Paper Authors


Mario Simoni Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Simoni is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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William D. Schindel ICTT System Sciences

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William D. Schindel is president of ICTT System Sciences, a systems engineering company, and developer of the Systematica Methodology for model and pattern-based systems engineering. His 40-year engineering career began in mil/aero systems with IBM Federal Systems, Owego, NY, included service
as a faculty member of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and founding of three commercial systems-based enterprises. He has consulted on improvement of engineering processes within automotive, medical/health care, manufacturing, telecommunications, aerospace, and consumer products businesses. Schindel earned the BS and MS in Mathematics.

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Xiaoyan Mu Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology


Dan Moore Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dan Moore is a professor in the electrical and computer engineering Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from N. C. State University in 1989 in the area of compound semiconductor growth and device fabrication. He joined the faculty at Rose-Hulman in 1995 as an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Prior to joining the faculty at Rose-Hulman he was an assistant professor at Virginia Tech and an instructor at N. C. State University. After completing his M.S. in electrical engineering in 1976, he joined the DuPont Corporation where he worked in various technical, design, and supervisory positions before returning to obtain his PhD.
Dr. Moore directed the electrical and computer department’s senior design program for several years and is currently involved in externally sponsored multidisciplinary graduate and undergraduate projects as well as international project teams and collaborations. He recently spent a sabbatical year at the University of Applied Sciences, HS-Ulm in Ulm Germany working with their design programs and finalizing a dual degree graduate program between UAS and Rose-Hulman. His current research interests include engineering design methodologies, student learning styles, active/cooperative education and the integration of entrepreneurial concepts and practices throughout the curriculum.
He was the 2001 – 2003 chair of the Educational Research Methods (ERM) division of ASEE, is a senior member of IEEE, and an ABET program evaluator. He was FIE program co-chair for FIE 98, 01, and 04 and served two terms on the FIE steering committee. He is an associate editor of the on-line Journal of Advances in Engineering Education (AEE), an ASEE publication.

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Wayne T. Padgett Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Wayne T. Padgett is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He has been teaching signal processing and related courses there for 19 years. He received his B.E.E. from Auburn University in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 1994. He has specialized in fixed-point algorithm design and education, and has a special interest in hands-on learning. He has a variety of industrial experiences from consulting, summer, and sabbatical positions.

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Practicing and Assessing Formal Systems Competencies In ECE Senior DesignAbstract:Systems engineering concepts were included for the first time this year in the electricalengineering senior design program. In this year-long program, teams of three to four studentscomplete an externally sponsored project. In this year’s class, a subset of the model-basedSystems Competencies1 was introduced at the beginning of the course, and assigned as modelartifacts to appear in project deliverables. The cited model-based rubrics are likewise being usedand enhanced as the basis of related competencies assessment. Results for student team projectdeliverables of the first course quarter are reported within the scope of this paper.This year the teams were asked to complete a System Proposal document during the first 5 weeksof the project and a System Decomposition and Requirements document by the 10th week of theproject. The System Proposal consists of a model-based stakeholder-to-feature map, the domain,state, and logical architecture models, and a complete list of interactions. The purpose ofproducing this document is to ensure that the client, the students, and the faculty fully understandthe project and all have the same concept of what the project entails. The System Decompositionand Requirements document includes a model-based decomposition of the system into itsphysical components, while assuring that the design and requirements are consistent with themodeled stakeholder features.The assessment that we have of this process at the time of abstract submission is based on theexperience of the faculty supervisors who are working directly with the teams using the model-based rubrics. As a result of producing these models, it seems that the student teams are getting amuch better understanding of their projects earlier on in the year than they have in the past. Bythe time we submit this paper, we will have an assessment of the first quarter’s submissions, andthe progress of the additional systems competencies from an initial baseline. The faculty areexpecting this process to produce better results for the client by the end of the project, and willuse the model-based rubrics at each stage to track this progress.

Simoni, M., & Schindel, W. D., & Mu, X., & Moore, D., & Padgett, W. T. (2014, June), Practicing and Assessing Formal Systems Competencies in ECE Senior Design Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22923

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