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Usma Ce Model For Client Based Multidiscipline Capstones

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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

6.1126.1 - 6.1126.6



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Paper Authors

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Steven Hart

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Ronald Welch

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

Session 1125

USMA CE Model For Client-Based Multidiscipline Capstones Ronald W. Welch, Steven D. Hart United States Military Academy


This paper describes a model used successfully by the ABET-Accredited Civil Engineering Program at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) for client-based multidisciplinary capstone projects. The client has been the West Point Association of Graduates (AOG), which then represents USMA to provide the facilities and services only possible through gift projects, such as a non-funded sports team facility. The model consists of two phases: first, an independent study by three to eight students to define the project (i.e., 10 percent submittal - concept design); second, the civil engineering majors in multiple teams complete the design of the facility. The capstone designs developed by the multiple senior design teams provide the feasibility studies and/or architectural/engineering products required for marketing the project to potential donors. Work in other courses is completed concurrently to provide real time input to the design process.

I. Introduction

The climate in the New York area essentially prevents any effective outdoor golf training from mid-November to mid-March. The Academy had already identified a need for an indoor golf training facility, but the facility was such a low priority that it was not even on the list of authorized fund raising items. The Association of Graduates, the primary fund raising organization for the Academy, follows the Superintendent’s (i.e., University President) lead as to the priority for fund raising projects.

It takes money to raise money. Any facility, including the indoor golf training facility, requires Architectural and Engineering (A&E) products to stimulate interest in the project and to establish the funding requirements for actual construction. A&E products can be up to 50 percent of the total project cost – an extremely large sunk cost if actual interest in the project does not lead to sufficient donations to cover initial and construction costs.

In this case, a prospective donor appeared on the horizon, but there were no A&E products or cost estimates to move the discussion beyond the general need and the “maybe I can help” level. In 1998, an academic advisor for the West Point Golf Team, who knew that the golf team’s practice facility had a very low fund raising status, approached a Civil Engineering instructor. Since the Civil Engineering Division desired to develop new senior design capstone projects each year, the concept of using civil engineering students in the senior design capstone course to perform the initial A&E design work for a new facility quickly materialized.

The senior design capstone course, which is built around a semester-long comprehensive team project, integrates all aspects of the civil engineering curriculum. The civil engineering students, first through an independent study course of 3-8 students followed by the multiple capstone

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

Hart, S., & Welch, R. (2001, June), Usma Ce Model For Client Based Multidiscipline Capstones Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9986

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