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The Balanced Scorecard In A Capstone Design Course

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Trends in ME Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1234.1 - 9.1234.12



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Paper Authors

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John Hochstein

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


The Balanced Scorecard in a Capstone Design Course

John I. Hochstein, Jeffrey G. Marchetta, William S. Janna

Department of Mechanical Engineering The University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee


In response to a perceived need to improve the project management skills of program graduates, the authors introduced the general principles and structure of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) system to seniors in a capstone design course. This paper briefly presents the principles of the Balanced Scorecard, describes how they were introduced to the students, presents details of how the BSC was employed by one of the design teams, and documents students’ evaluation of this application of the BSC. It concludes with the authors’ assessment of this experiment and plans for future offerings of this capstone design course.


For the last two decades of the 20th century, ABET exerted a relentless pressure on engineering education programs to make “design” a significant and measurable component of curricula leading to degrees granted by programs accredited by that body1. The paradigm shift embodied in ABET’s promulgation of Engineering Criteria 20002 (EC2000) has provided more leeway in how programs deliver the design component of the curriculum, but the new criteria continue to identify “design” as a vital component of the curriculum. In fact, Criterion 3.c requires that “… programs must demonstrate that their graduates have an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs” and Criterion 4 requires a “… curriculum culminating in a major design experience …”. Such a capstone experience is a major component of the Design of Thermal Fluid Systems course (MECH 4314), required of every student, in the Mechanical Engineering program at The University of Memphis. Continuous improvement processes conducted by the faculty of that program have identified a need to improve the ability of its graduates to effectively plan and execute an engineering project of significant scope to be conducted by a multi-disciplinary team. In an attempt to achieve this result, the 2003 Fall semester offering of MECH 4314 included a topic not previously included in that course: a very brief introduction to the ideas of the Balanced Scorecard4. The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is not the only system currently enjoying success in the marketplace, (e.g., six-sigma, management by objectives, object-oriented management). However, the BSC system has achieved a surprisingly

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hochstein, J. (2004, June), The Balanced Scorecard In A Capstone Design Course Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13501

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