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Work in Progress: Providing Diverse Opportunities for Capstone Projects in Biomedical Engineering

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1756.1 - 26.1756.5



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Paper Authors


Mansoor Nasir Lawrence Technological University

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Dr. Mansoor Nasir received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California-Berkeley. He worked as a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. before joining the Biomedical Engineering department at Lawrence Technological University. He has several publications in the areas of microfluidics, chemical and biological sensors, and MEMS technology. He is also passionate about engineering pedagogy and has attended several workshops on using techniques that make classroom instruction more engaging and effective.

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Eric G Meyer Lawrence Technological University

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Dr. Meyer directs the Experimental Biomechanics Laboratory (EBL) at LTU with the goal of advancing experimental biomechanics understanding. Dr. Meyer teaches Introduction to Biomechanics, Tissue Mechanics, Engineering Applications in Orthopedics, and Foundations of Medical Imaging. He has been an active member of the engineering faculty committee that has redesigned the Foundations of Engineering Design Projects course that is required for all freshmen in the College of Engineering at LTU. This committee is currently designing a new sophomore-level Engineering Entrepreneurship Studio that will also be required for all students as a continuation of the “Foundations Studio.” He has published 33 peer-reviewed journal and conference proceeding articles. At LTU, Meyer offers a number of outreach programs for high school students and advises many projects for undergraduate students.

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Yawen Li Lawrence Technological University

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Yawen Li is an associate professor in the biomedical engineering program at Lawrence Technological University. Her teaching portfolio includes courses such as Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Engineering Lab, MEMS, MEMS Lab, and Engineering Materials. Serving as the university assessment committee representative since 2011, she coordinates various aspects of the assessment-related activities within the program.

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Providing Opportunities for Applied Research and Design-Based Capstone Projects in Biomedical EngineeringBiomedical Engineering (BME) is an interdisciplinary field where scientific principles andengineering tools are used to solve health and medical needs. Up until a decade ago, mostacademic institutions offered BME tracks and concentrations housed within other programs suchas Electrical, Mechanical and Chemical engineering. However, during the last decade there hasbeen a steady growth in the establishment of independent undergraduate BME degree programs.Furthermore, as the BME programs have matured, the number of institutions that have beenaccredited through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) hasincreased to approximately ninety [1]. As with other engineering fields, ABET accreditationrequires that students in the BME program complete a capstone project during the senior year inwhich student teams work on a particular problem and document their results.ABET accreditation criterion is quantified through rigorous and disciplined design process [2].This is one reason why traditional senior projects usually focus on engineering design projects.Research based senior projects can provide a valuable glimpse to undergraduates who areinterested in graduate degrees and the chance at scholarship can also enhance the ability forstudents to distinguish themselves. However, with almost 40% BME graduates entering theindustry, design projects can play a critical role in preparing students for engineering practice[3]. Design experience is more important for students as it emphasizes engineering solutions forexisting needs and deals with environmental, social ethical and safety constraints. The skillsdeveloped through this process can be a valuable asset for BME graduates. This abstracthighlights our efforts at XXXXXXXX University to balance the needs of the students byproviding them with different opportunities for senior projects.A survey of the last five years shows 19 BME senior projects ranging from research to puredesign. Even the applied research projects can provide an appealing combination that allowsopen-ended exploration which is bound by rigorous design of experiments and solutions for real-world needs. The paper will discuss pedagogical techniques and assessment instruments forsenior projects with a range of applied research and design projects. The instructor(s) willdemonstrate avenues for student interaction with industrial sponsors, clinicians, patient/clientsand research faculty on campus and at affiliated hospitals to develop need statements. Theassessment rubrics are used for student presentations and reports for proper evaluation ofstudent/team progress. The paper will present several examples of these projects and level ofachievement reached in each case.[1] ABET accreditation web portal:[2] Gassert, J. D., et al. "Design versus research; ABET requirements for design and why research cannot substitute for design." Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference. Vol. 1139. 2006.[3] Gassert, J.D.; Enderle, J.D., "Design versus research in BME accreditation [ABET requirements and why research cannot substitute for design]," Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE , vol.27, no.2, pp.80,85, March-April 2008. doi: 10.1109/EMB.2007.913554

Nasir, M., & Meyer, E. G., & Li, Y. (2015, June), Work in Progress: Providing Diverse Opportunities for Capstone Projects in Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25092

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