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Developing and conducting an industry based capstone design course

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2 Author(s)
C. O. Ruud ; Dept. of Ind. & Manuf. Eng., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; V. J. Deleveaux

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

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1997. 27th Annual Conference. Teaching and Learning in an Era of Change. Proceedings.  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Nov 1997