Asee peer logo

Toward An Engineering Capability Maturity Model

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1316.1 - 9.1316.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Maria M. Larrondo Petrie

Download Paper |

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

Session Number: 1793

Towards An Engineering Education Capability Maturity Model

María M. Larrondo Petrie, PhD College of Engineering, Florida Atlantic University


There are many skills and capabilities considered crucial to an engineer. Colleges of engineering and engineering accreditation boards have developed curricula and criteria that assess mastery of the requisite mathematical, scientific and engineering foundation. However, other critical skills and capabilities, such as technical writing and oral communication skills, problem solving skills, interdisciplinary team collaboration skills, leadership skills, ethics and creativity are assumed to be interwoven across the curriculum. The capability and maturity of engineering students in these areas are seldom formally assessed.

This paper proposes an Engineering Education Capability Maturity Model designed to improve the process of tracking, assessing and improving engineering students’ capabilities in these often neglected areas across their undergraduate years. The Engineering Education Capability Maturity Model is an adaptation of an integrated process improvement model used in software systems engineering, called the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). Model-based process improvement uses a model to guide the improvement of an organization’s processes and aims to increase the capability of work processes. Process capability is the inherent ability of a process to produce planned results. This paper presents an overview of the CMM and proposes three CMM-based models for improving the process capability of the engineering institution, the engineering faculty and the engineering student.


In 1986, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University with the Mitre Corporation began developing a multi-level model-based process improvement model called the Capability Maturity Model1,2 (CMM). The CMM model was based on earlier quality management work by Deming3, Crosby4, and Juran5. The model determines an organization’s process capability, the inherent ability of a process to produce planned results, as the capability increases the results become predictable and measurable, and the most significant causes of poor quality and productivity are controlled or eliminated.

The first CMM model developed was the Capability Maturity Model for Software (SW-CMM). Its use enhances the capabilities of the software development organization to deliver software on time, within cost, and meeting the objectives of the system and the customer. This documented success resulted in the proliferation of CMM-based models to improve engineering processes, which in 1998, prompted industry, the US government, and the SEI to begin the Capability Maturity Model Integration6 (CMMI) project to provide a single, integrated framework for

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

Larrondo Petrie, M. M. (2004, June), Toward An Engineering Capability Maturity Model Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12737

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015