June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Electrical and Computer
13.1027.1 - 13.1027.11
Recent Capstone Design Projects at Western Kentucky University
Introduction The electrical engineering (EE) program at Western Kentucky University (WKU) was created in 2001, graduated students for the first time in 2004, and is now fully accredited by ABET. Our mission is to be relevant to the region and to produce graduates who can immediately contribute. We believe that students should be involved in project based activities during their entire undergraduate experience. The EE program is dedicated to project-based learning (PBL). Engaging students with the concrete, hands-on, and real-world problems is a great motivator. PBL has grown in acceptance in the undergraduate community during the past two decades. 1-4
WKU’s EE faculty are focused on undergraduate education. Our faculty are rewarded and required to engage students in activities to support the development of a clear understanding of engineering practice.5 Our goal is to provide students with relevant project experiences inside and outside the classroom. Faculty have developed a series of experiences throughout the curriculum to support this mission which culminates in a year long design sequence. Students prepare for outstanding professional leadership by participating in real-world projects undertaken by multidisciplinary teams using state-of-the-art tools and facilities. Many of these projects are done with the support of local industry.
This paper discusses recent projects completed in the senior capstone design course. Projects have been sponsored by regional industrial partners, government partners and internal faculty. The capstone course is a two semester experience in which the students propose solutions for large scale projects during the first semester and implement and test the design during the second semester. The industrial advisory board is used as a resource for projects and to assess the students at the completion of the project. Ideas on how to address large-scale, multidisciplinary, multi-year projects in an undergraduate project-based curriculum will also be presented.
Role of Design Courses
The EE Program includes a five course design sequence. The first design course, EE 101, introduces students to the university and the EE program. Students are taught how to solder and to how to use the departmental prototyping facilities. Students are exposed to programming in BASIC, MATLAB and HTML. Student teams design and build a small robot.6
The second design course, EE 200, further builds on the project-based mission. Students learn to construct circuits using the departmental print circuit board facilities. Students continue to develop programming skill with PSPICE and MATLAB. Students design and build a clock.
During the third design course, EE 300, EE students are assigned to teams. Each team is assigned a unique design project and must solve and implement a design problem throughout the semester. These projects are often industrially supported. Recently, some projects have been
Cambron, M., & Collett, W., & Wilson, S. (2008, June), Recent Capstone Design Projects At Western Kentucky University Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4183
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