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Techniques For Assessing Industrial Projects In Engineering Design Courses

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.970.1 - 6.970.7

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Paper Authors

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Darrell Gibson

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Patricia Brackin

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

Session 2525

Techniques for Assessing Industrial Projects in Engineering Design Courses

M. Patricia Brackin, J. Darrell Gibson Department of Mechanical Engineering ROSE-HULMAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY


The benefits of company sponsored student design projects, both to academia and to industry, have been well established recently in symposia and in publications. However, assessing these benefits in order to improve the students’ experience can be difficult. Traditionally, design reports alone have been the method by which the students’ performance is judged. In this paper, the authors demonstrate the use of company evaluations, oral reports, student self-assessments, as well as design reports to quantify student performance. These methods will be discussed and examples presented showing how the results can be used to improve student performance on industrial projects.


Industrial/Academic partnerships are essential for technological development, regardless of the discipline. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the assessment of these partnerships in order to improve both the students’ and the companies’ experiences. Traditionally, design reports alone have been the method by which the students’ performance is judged. Although a wealth of information is contained within these reports, this information does not address the process that the students used in interacting with their company, nor does a traditional report address all areas of student learning.

This paper discusses the assessment of student projects with industry which are performed as part of the course requirements for Machine Design, a senior mechanical engineering course for four quarter hours of credit. The design project represents 50% of the course grade and the enrollment is approximately 110. The students work in groups of 3 or 4 and are normally expected to spend approximately 10 hours per week on their projects. Student teams are required to meet with their instructor weekly and submit a written status report. Formalized design methodologies are required. (See for example Pahl and Beitz [1] or Dekker and Gibson [2].) In addition, oral presentations and final written reports are required of each design team, and some companies also invite the teams to their facility for an in-house oral briefing.


Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Gibson, D., & Brackin, P. (2001, June), Techniques For Assessing Industrial Projects In Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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