Asee peer logo

Student Perceptions of Project Management and Team Culture Within Capstone Projects

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Studies of Student Teams and Student Interactions

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nourhan Emad El-Atky Rowan University

visit author page

Nourhan El-Atky is a Graduate Assistant in Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. She received her BS from The Arab Academy Of Science And Technology in 2018 in Egypt. She is working on her Ph.D. and MS at Rowan University. Her MS is in mechanical engineering and her Ph.D. is in educational engineering. Her Ph.D. is focusing specifically on capstone design projects at Rowan University, senior and junior clinics in particular.

visit author page


Smitesh Bakrania Rowan University

visit author page

Dr. Smitesh Bakrania is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 2008 and his B.S. from Union College in 2003. His research interests include combustion synthesis of nanoparticles and combustion catalysis using nanoparticles. He is also involved in developing educational apps for instructional and research purposes.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Most engineering programs teach professional skills early within their curriculum. By the time students undertake capstone projects, however, the emphasis is mostly on technical communication, public speaking, design, and research skills. Project and team management is at best a broad expectation and frequently an afterthought within capstone projects. Faculty members hold project outcomes at a premium over management. In this research, a survey was conducted to capture the prevalence of project and team management strategies within engineering capstone projects, particularly how students interpreted these requirements. Specifically, how student teams reported they organized themselves around the project goals, and which management strategies were frequently deployed. The survey solicited feedback from about 160 project teams with responses consisting of 186 multidisciplinary students within the College of Engineering. The survey results indicate that students feel they use the full spectrum of management strategies at their disposal. Students also claimed they exhibited strong team culture. A post-survey discussion of the responses revealed that teams frequently rely on a low-level and ad-hoc team management approach that rarely meets the expectations. The survey supports the existing notion that students do not naturally apply team management competencies given past exposure and the opportunity. Instead a more deliberate effort must be made for deep integration of project management within existing capstone projects. This way a more realistic simulation of professional practice can be expected from capstone projects.

El-Atky, N. E., & Bakrania, S. (2021, July), Student Perceptions of Project Management and Team Culture Within Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37754

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015