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The Benefits of Internal Design Reviews in an Engineering Capstone Course

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37841

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

biography

Jamie Gravell University of Texas at Dallas

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Jamie D Gravell received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2017, and is currently a fourth-year Ph.D. student at The University of Texas at Dallas. She has served as the teaching assistant for the engineering capstone course for two years. To assist in creating new course content, she completed the requirements to earn both levels of the Graduate Teaching Certificate offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning at her university. Her PhD research interests are in multiscale modeling of crystalline material defects such as the interaction of dislocations and grain boundaries with application to enhanced material design for thin film semiconductor devices.

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biography

Robert Hart P.E. University of Texas at Dallas

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Robert Hart is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). He teaches the capstone design course sequence and serves as a Director for the UTDesign program, which facilitates corporate sponsorship of capstone projects and promotes resource sharing and cross-disciplinary collaboration among engineering departments. His professional interests are in the areas of engineering education, fluid mechanics, and thermal science. He is an active member of ASME and ASEE and has been a member of the Capstone Design Conference organizing committee since 2015. Before joining UTD, he worked as an engineer for 10 years, primarily at Southwest Research Institute. He is a licensed professional engineer and holds a B.S. and M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Todd W. Polk University of Texas at Dallas

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Dr. Todd Polk is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Bioengineering Department at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He received his Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas. Todd has over 25 years of industry experience in design, test, applications, sales and management. After joining UT Dallas in 2013, he developed the capstone course sequence in the newly-formed Bioengineering department and has been responsible for teaching it since. Todd also serves as a Director for the UTDesign program, which facilitates resource sharing and corporate sponsorship of projects for all engineering disciplines at the university. He attended the Capstone Design Conference in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and is an active member of IEEE and EMBS.

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Abstract

In a large engineering capstone course, it is important for the Engineering Directors to connect with each student team to ensure individual student success as well as overall project success. A way we have incorporated this into our curriculum is via a sequence of three internal design reviews: a Detailed Design Approval (DDA) review held near the end of the first semester, a Project Readiness Review (PRR) scheduled eight weeks before the end of the project, followed four weeks later by the presentation of a Mandatory First Prototype (MFP). During the DDA and PRR, each team meets individually with the Engineering Directors to present their project’s status. If a team is at risk of falling behind, this is an opportunity for the Engineering Directors to intervene and help them find a way to achieve a completed project at the conclusion of the course. Additionally, at the PRR, the team and Engineering Directors establish a set of measurable deliverables for the MFP. These deliverables are chosen to ensure that all required prototype features are at least functional a month before the end of the project. To understand the effect of the PRR/MFP process on project outcome, 41 mechanical and biomedical engineering students from three different semesters were surveyed. Overall, the students found the PRR/MFP process to be beneficial because they believed they received useful feedback from the Engineering Directors and that it helped their project outcome. We further validated the positive effects of the PRR/MFP process by examining the effect of the MFP grade on the technical evaluation of the team’s final project for 147 teams over 8 semesters. From these results, we believe the PRR/MFP process is useful to promote team preparedness and increase project success in engineering capstone courses. The process not only encourages mentorship from course Engineering Directors, but also allows students another opportunity to learn to present and defend their work.

Gravell, J., & Hart, R., & Polk, T. W. (2021, July), The Benefits of Internal Design Reviews in an Engineering Capstone Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37841

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