June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.972.1 - 7.972.9
RECONCILING WELL-DEFINED CAPSTONE OBJECTIVES AND CRITERIA WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR INDUSTY INVOLVEMENT Mark Archibald, Mark Reuber, Blair Allison GROVE CITY COLLEGE
Mechanical engineering capstone design students benefit from interaction with practicing engineers. This is widely recognized, and many programs require students to work on projects that originate with local industry. This approach has the appeal of “real-world” engineering, and the benefit of external project evaluation. However, it can be difficult to reconcile industry-sponsored projects with established capstone criteria regarding scope, objectives, and required elements. Such projects may be too large or too small, and they may encompass only a few aspects of mechanical engineering design. At its worst, different objectives on the part of faculty and industry representatives lead to confusion, resentment, and frustration for students.
Grove City College has developed a rigorous set of capstone requirements, including objectives, scope, topical elements, and evaluation criteria. Industry sponsored projects are occasionally done, but they are not actively solicited. However, involvement of practicing engineers from local industries is not only encouraged, but required. Student design teams, with the help of faculty advisors, identify people in local industries with skills beneficial to their particular project. These people are invited to help by 1) answering questions and offering advice to the student team, 2) participating in design reviews, and 3) evaluating student presentations. Many practicing engineers very generously donate their time towards helping the students. The result is an invaluable experience for most capstone students. This paper describes the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design program at Grove City College, and how the program is enhanced by industry involvement.
Capstone design programs are the culmination of an engineering student’s undergraduate career. They draw on all previous course work in engineering science and design, as well as senior-level design topics. Providing a mechanism for students to interact with practicing engineers in industry is a proven way to enhance the learning experience for students. Likewise, learning is enhanced when program goals and requirements are clearly defined and supported by appropriate instruction. Capstone design programs are particularly effective when they are 1) comprehensive in scope; 2) contain well-defined “Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”
Archibald, M. (2002, June), Reconciling Well Defined Capstone Objectives And Criteria With Requirements For Industry Involvement Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10047
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