June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Design in Engineering Education
12.1270.1 - 12.1270.10
Senior Design Projects in Mechanical Engineering – Active Involvement of Industry Partners and Advisory Council
C.A. Luongoa, C. Shiha, J.W. Surgesb, D.C Bogleb, R.A. Wrightb a Department of Mechanical Engineering, Florida A&M – Florida State University b Lockheed Martin Corporation
Like most other programs, the curriculum of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is capped with a one-year senior design project in which the students work in teams to design and implement products or systems under the sponsorship of an industrial partner. It has been recognized that capstone design courses represent an excellent vehicle to round out a good engineering education and they provide the appropriate platform for students to apply design thinking and transition into a professional career1. Many universities have adopted this model for their engineering curricula2,3,4. At the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering this course was first introduced in Mechanical Engineering as a one-year sequence within an integrated curriculum in the 1999 academic year.
Our core Mechanical Engineering curriculum culminates in a two-semester capstone design project experience allowing the graduating class to work on relevant engineering projects by applying the knowledge acquired in the preceding years. In addition to the application of traditional engineering skills and knowledge, many important elements of engineering training are seamlessly integrated into the senior project, including teamwork, technical communications, and project management. This two-semester format provides the opportunity to define projects spanning a full product design cycle, starting from problem formulation, to concept generation and selection, design, and prototype implementation. The course is conducted not in traditional “lecture” format but through frequent ‘design reviews’ or ‘staff meetings’, emulating the real- world project practice the students are likely to face upon employment.
In order to provide projects that closely simulate the industrial environment, we work with the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Council (MEAC) and other industry contacts to identify partners who can sponsor high-quality and engineering-relevant projects. Industrial involvement to the program has been excellent since we initiated the new format in 1999-2000. We have increased the external-supported projects from 12% in 1999-2000 to more than 80% in the past three years. Moreover, we have integrated effectively the capstone experience in our continuous assessment process by involving industrial project sponsors and MEAC members in the annual project review as external evaluators.
Luongo, C., & Shih, C., & Sturges, J., & Bogle, D. (2007, June), Senior Design Projects In Mechanical Engineering – Active Involvement Of Industry Partners And Advisory Council Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1882
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