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The Senior Design Project: From Concept To Reality

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Capstone Design and Engineering Practice

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1163.1 - 8.1163.6



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Paper Authors

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William Ebel

author page

Roobik Gharabagi

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

The Senior Design Project: From Concept to Reality

Roobik Gharabagi, William J. Ebel Department of Electrical Engineering Saint Louis University 3450 Lindell Blvd St. Louis, MO 63103,


The senior design experience at the Department of Electrical Engineering of St. Louis University is a two semester course sequence with sixteen weeks per semester. The total of thirty two weeks for the senior design courses is divided into three major sections of twelve-twelve-eight weeks. The end result of each major section is, in order, the preliminary design review (PDR), the critical design review (CDR), and the final design review (FDR).

During the first twelve weeks, various social issues of engineering design are introduced as case studies, including legal, ethical, and environmental. In addition, practical design issues are introduced including cost, ease of use, packaging, resource efficiency, etc. Design students are divided into several working groups. Groups then select projects and develop proposals to be presented as the PDR to the department faculty at the end of the first twelve weeks. Upon approval of the proposed project, students generate a purchase order that contains parts list, quantity, cost, and vendors’ addresses to the department secretary for processing.

During the second twelve weeks, students are guided towards proposed project completion. Parts are ordered and tested for validity of specifications. Various modules identified in the proposal are designed, tested, and interfaced together to meet project proposed goals. Upon completion of all the modules, prototypes are assembled and extensively tested. A mini-poster session is organized to present the working prototypes to the department faculty, invited guests, and students as part of the CDR. Upon successful completion and presentation of the proposed projects, the student groups earn the right to proceed to the third and final phase of the design sequence.

During the last eight weeks, students are to package their completed projects, perform extensive tests, and develop operational and technical manuals. The final products are presented in a poster session for review and are fully demonstrated in front of an audience consisting of faculty, students, and invited guests. This constitutes the FDR.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Ebel, W., & Gharabagi, R. (2003, June), The Senior Design Project: From Concept To Reality Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11998

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