Developing and conducting an industry based capstone design course

  • Ruud C
  • Deleveaux V
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Abstract

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, today's engineering
graduate must be equipped to meet the needs of industry and these needs
are not limited to technical competence. They include the ability to:
consider alternative solutions and their impact on various operations;
work in interdisciplinary teams; manage projects; tie projects to the
bottom line profitability of the enterprise; and communicate
effectively. In many cases, graduates are ill-prepared to meet these
challenges. The Penn State Department of Industrial and Manufacturing
Engineering, USA, has designed, developed and conducted a senior
capstone course to address certain key skill deficiencies of the
engineering graduate. The course is conducted in cooperation with
parallel sections in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and as a
consequence, many of the student teams are composed of students from all
three disciplines. The course provides the student with a realistic
experience that helps with the transition from theory to the real
practice of engineering. This paper identifies those elements in the
design and conduct of the course that ensures a good experience for both
industrial partners and students. Important concepts such as selecting
good industrial sponsors and coaching versus supervising are discussed

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Authors

  • C.O. Ruud

  • V.J. Deleveaux

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