Assessment of a Three-Semester Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Sequence Based on the SAE Collegiate Design Series
Mechanical engineering students at Lawrence Technological University complete a five-credit hour capstone project: either an SAE collegiate design series (CDS) vehicle or an industry-sponsored project (ISP). Students who select the SAE CDS option enroll in a three-semester, three-course sequence. Each team of seniors designs, builds, and competes with their vehicle at one of the SAE CDS events. Three years after implementing major changes to the course structure and content, the three-semester capstone design sequence is revisited. Finalized learning objectives are presented and the sequence is assessed with a mix of direct, indirect, and anecdotal assessment. Student performance, as measured directly with design reports, milestones, and project completion, is good. Of the five Lawrence Tech CDS teams, only one has failed to be ready for competition since the changes were implemented.