Assessment of a Three-Semester Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Sequence Based on the SAE Collegiate Design Series 2019-01-1126
Mechanical engineering seniors at Lawrence Technological University complete a capstone design project: either an SAE collegiate design series (CDS) vehicle or an industry-sponsored project (ISP). Starting in 2015, the Lawrence Tech CDS advisors worked together to redesign the five-credit three-semester sequence. The overall goals of the modifications were to improve student design, project management and communication skills; integrate SAE CDS projects into the curriculum; and increase faculty advisor involvement in the classroom. Initial results from the 2015-2016 academic year showed improvement in the first offering of the new sequence (Mynderse et. al. 2016). Ongoing assessment of course modifications includes faculty advisor observation, student surveys, and direct assessment of student technical output. This work expands on previous results with finalized learning outcomes, resulting session-by-session schedules, and new assessment data.
The revised sequence consists of three courses: Introduction to Projects, Competition Projects 1, and Competition Projects 2. Introduction to Projects runs during the Spring semester only and introduces students the CDS projects while using a designette to practice the engineering design process and project management. Students complete a questionnaire to provide CDS preferences and are placed on teams by faculty advisors in the fourth week of the semester. These teams remain in place for the remaining 12-16 months of the project. Competition Projects 1 follows in the Fall semester only and alternates technical content with studio-like design sessions. Competition Projects 2 completes the sequence in the Spring semester and includes show-and-tell sessions and design presentations for each team. Competition Projects 2 finishes with the annual Blue Devil Motorsports Unveiling event, where all vehicles are presented to the University.
James A. Mynderse, Liping Liu, Andrew Gerhart, Xin Xie, Wuming Jing, Kingman Yee