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Revitalizing A Capstone Design Sequence With Industrial Project Management Techniques

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1042.1 - 15.1042.8



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Paper Authors

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Stacy Wilson Western Kentucky University

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Michael McIntyre Western Kentucky University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Revitalizing a Capstone Design Sequence with Industrial Project Management Techniques


The capstone design experience is a staple in many engineering programs throughout the nation. The purpose of these courses or sequences often includes the execution of an applied research project where students have a culminating design experience, and an opportunity to complete engineering design tasks. At , the objective of the capstone sequence in the Electrical Engineering Program is primarily focused on the design and execution of applied research or industrial sponsored projects. Over time, the faculty have assessed that the students struggle with elements of project execution such as planning and meeting intermediate deadlines. In order to improve the student learning, the faculty has revitalized the design sequence by incorporating project management techniques often found in the industrial setting.

The new additions to the sequence include a score card rating system and the inclusion of project management techniques and strategies. Student teams present the current state of their work during design reviews to faculty. A score card rating has been implemented in these design reviews to establish go/no-go guidelines and immediate feedback for the students. Students are instructed in project management techniques and the structuring of the sequence to pattern these techniques has been implemented.

This paper will briefly describe the current course structure and the assessment of the sequence. The score card rating of design reviews and the inclusion of project management techniques will be discussed. The effectiveness of the new strategies will also be presented.


In the Electrical Engineering (EE) Program at , each student takes a senior capstone design sequence prior to graduation. Over time, it has been observed and assessed by faculty that students have difficulty adequately planning their project which often impacts the manner in which the project is completed. Through results of the assessment process, the faculty has decided to include project management techniques and a scorecard rating system to better aid and guide the students through this process. This paper will present the structure of this capstone sequence, the assessment of the sequence, the newly incorporated changes, and the results of these changes.

Capstone Sequence Structure

The main purpose of the capstone experience in the Electrical Engineering Program at is to provide a forum for students to be involved in a culminating project experience in support of ABET Criteria 5.1 The senior project experience is a two semester sequence comprised of a one credit hour fall course (EE 400) and a three credit hour spring course (EE 401). During the first semester, the class is focused on design methodology and decision-making. The course includes professional issues, and the planning and design phase of the project culminating with

Wilson, S., & McIntyre, M. (2010, June), Revitalizing A Capstone Design Sequence With Industrial Project Management Techniques Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15868

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