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Successful S3 Design Projects

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Blair J. McDonald P.E. Western Illinois University

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Dr. Blair J. McDonald, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois; PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah; Professional Engineer and Licensed Land Surveyor in Utah.

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William F. Pratt Western Illinois University

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Dr. Pratt was selected as the first Director of the new School of Engineering and tasked to start a new general engineering program at Western Illinois University in August of 2009. The first graduates received their diplomas in May of 2011 and the program was ABET accredited in August of 2012. The School will add a separate Mechanical Engineering Degree in 2017. He has experienced a varied career in government, academia, and industry and has six patents for advanced composite materials.

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Il-Seop Shin Western Illinois University

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Il-Seop Shin received the B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from California State University, Fresno in 1997, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1999 and 2007, respectively.

In 2007, he joined Biomedical Sensing and Signal Processing research center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as a postdoctoral research associate. He also worked as a mixed-signal CMOS Integrated Circuit designer and a system engineer at NewLANS, Inc. in Acton, Massachusetts until 2010. He became a Visiting Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida in 2010. Since August 2012, he has been with the School of Engineering at Western Illinois University, Quad Cities as an Assistant Professor of Engineering.

His current academic interests include project-based learning with real-world problems, training in critical thinking for students to improve efficient problem solving skills, and enhancement of interactive teaching/learning inside and outside classroom. His main research interests are integration of high performance sensors into mechatronic systems, development of mechatronic systems using biomechanics such as surface Electromyography, and implementation of intelligent microelectronic networks for multidisciplinary applications.

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Khaled Zbeeb Western Illinois University

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Dr. Khaled Zbeeb received his PhD and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 2011 and 2009 respectively. He also received his Bachelor degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1992. While pursuing his graduate degrees at FAU, Dr. Zbeeb taught various mechanical engineering classes including Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Engineering Graphics. In 2012, he joined Western Illinois University as an assistant professor, and he has been teaching there the following courses:
• Thermodynamics
• Heat Transfer
• Thermo-Fluids
• Dynamics
• Engineering Graphics
• Computational Methods in Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
• Fluid Mechanics.
• Finite Element Method

Dr. Zbeeb’s research devotes itself to the theoretical and computational modeling of thermo fluid and energy systems. His interests span both low and high speed fluid mechanics, multiphase flows, hydrodynamic and acoustic instabilities, engine internal flow fields, vorticity dynamics, combustion, alternative fuels and CFD. His research activities since 2008 have materialized in over twenty publications in first-rate journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. His work on flow modeling for two after-bodies trapped vortex combustion has led to the establishment for new design correlations for the TVC technology. His research interests focus on CFD, thermal fluids, heat transfer, energy and alternative fuel.

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Senior design projects are the final academic challenge that many engineering students must accomplish to graduate. Industry partners are heavily recruited by engineering programs nationwide to provide, and even fund, realistic projects that enable a meaningful senior design experience. A project with significant design content, where work is completed in a team environment, is universally desired. What fits the bill better than having students work within industry, maybe even as paid interns, on an active company project? Nothing could be more real since the project is real. Such projects automatically include real schedules, deadlines, constraints, codes, standards, budgets, equipment allocations, contracts and a projected return on the company’s investment or at least a clear demonstration of merit. These projects let students experience real work flow. When the projects include proprietary information, they require a higher level of academic management. They may even become “Super-Secret”. A Super-Secret Senior Design Project or S3 Design Project has more at stake than a run of the mill project. It might be the next version of software or a revolutionary product. The concept, progress, results and any work completed by students must be kept from public disclosure and competitors; therefore, the work, reports, discussions and presentations must be accomplished behind doors that open to only a limited number of people. Management of the S3 Design Project necessitates involving legal counsel and entering into non-disclosure agreements, a memorandum of understanding, contracts, agreements on intellectual property rights, patents, royalties… and so on. Even when everyone on both sides wants to jump start an S3 Design Project, it can take months to organize, lay the ground rules and get a final agreement to proceed. The experience gained by students completing this category of project can be valuable and highly rewarding; however, these projects may also have unexpected implications on learning outcomes, course objectives and program accreditation. After having completed several S3 Design Projects, the techniques to successfully manage and implement student projects that involve higher levels of security and limited disclosure of proprietary information are explored and discussed.

McDonald, B. J., & Pratt, W. F., & Shin, I., & Zbeeb, K. (2017, June), Successful S3 Design Projects Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28878

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