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Promoting Multidisciplinary Industry-Sponsored Capstone Projects

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2020 Mid-Atlantic Spring Conference


Baltimore, Maryland

Publication Date

March 27, 2020

Start Date

March 27, 2020

End Date

March 28, 2020

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Paper Authors


Rafic Bachnak Penn State Harrisburg

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Rafic A. Bachnak is Professor of Electrical Engineering in the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg. Previously, Dr. Bachnak was on the faculty of Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State University, and Franklin University. Dr. Bachnak received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ohio University. His experience includes several fellowships with NASA and the US Navy Laboratories and employment with Koch Industries. Dr. Bachnak is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, a senior member of IEEE and ISA, and a member of ASEE.

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Anilchandra Attaluri Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, The Capital College


Ma'moun Abu-Ayyad

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Dr. Mamoun Abu-Ayyad received his B.ScE. in Mechanical Engineering from Al-Mustansiryia University in 1995, his M.ScE. in Mechanical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology in 1998. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick/Canada in April 2006. Dr. Abu-Ayyad joined the department of mechanical engineering at Penn State Harrisburg as an assistant professor in August 2008.

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Abstract Engineering design problems are intricate in nature and require not only skills that involve interdisciplinary education but also knowledge across disciplines. The most recent ABET general criteria states that engineering curricula must include a culminating major engineering design experience that incorporates appropriate engineering standards and multiple constraints. The criteria also define a team as one that is working toward a common goal and should include individuals of diverse backgrounds, skills, or perspectives. As a result, multi-disciplinary teams that address real-world complex problems are increasingly emphasized in capstone engineering courses. To promote and encourage multi-disciplinary projects, the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Penn State Harrisburg has developed a model that facilitates the formation of multidisciplinary teams to work on industry-sponsored capstone projects. These projects offer students invaluable educational benefits and help in preparing them for their future careers. As we move forward, our goal is to intensify our efforts to strengthen our relationship with industry and the community. The more we strengthen these relationships, the better we are able to provide our students with opportunities that allow them to increase their technical knowledge and improve their social and interpersonal skills through working with individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences. The paper will provide details about our approach to seek industry-sponsored projects and the process we follow to encourage students to become part of multi-disciplinary teams that work on such projects. The paper will also summarize challenges and share relevant information about the supervision and evaluation of team members and their final presentation and report.

Bachnak, R., & Attaluri, A., & Abu-Ayyad, M. (2020, March), Promoting Multidisciplinary Industry-Sponsored Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2020 Mid-Atlantic Spring Conference, Baltimore, Maryland.

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