Capstone: EE, ME, and EGM 391/392
The culminating experience in your education as an engineer.



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Capstone Background

Background From its inception the departments of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and engineering management have recognized the value of a capstone design projects. The course, as it originally offered (to an enrollment of about 20-50 students per semester), was composed of the following stages:

  1. A student would identify a project, either a product of his or her own interests or something suggested by a faculty member;
  2. The student would form team, usually with friends;
  3. The student would identify a faculty member to serve as project sponsor;
  4. The student would attend the weekly 1 hour class, (typically one or two organizational meetings, a midterm update meeting, a final project presentation meeting, and infrequently a meeting with a guest speaker);
  5. The students would work independently, with perhaps an occasional interaction with the faculty sponsor, to complete the project;
  6. A demonstration of the completed project would be given for the faculty sponsor after 2 semesters;
  7. A 15 to 20 minute description/presentation of the project would be given to the entire class and faculty;
  8. A final written report describing the project would be submitted.
In the early 2000≠s evolved into more of a systems engineering/project management class. The format for this curriculum walk the student through the process of product design:
  1. Voice of the Customer (Capturing the Need)
  2. Requirements Analysis
  3. Trade off studies on concepts to satisfy requirements
  4. Design Reviews
    1. Concept
    2. Preliminary
    3. Critical
    4. Final
  5. The capstone was more of a Systems Engineering course.
  6. Students experience in solving real world engineering problems with as much professional quality as is possible via an academic course.
  7. Encourage students to integrate material from their previous courses and experience.
  8. Group problem-solving and interpersonal skills.
  9. Additional opportunities for oral technical presentations.
  10. Additional opportunities for professional report writing.
  11. Real World Projects
    • Real-world projects are sponsored by companies in and around Pennsylvania. The diversity of project sponsors, such as Tobyhanna Army Depot, Lockheed Martin, Keystone Automation, Fairchild Semiconductor, Pulverman, Lehighton Electronics Inc, Cornell Iron Works, and Instrumentation Engineering, reflected the breadth of projects that our students experience.
In the later 2000s and early 2010s the systems engineering approach was expanded to include more of an entrepreneurial approach. Including the aforementioned systems engineering the following was added:
  • What is the market, how large, how receptive, what are the best segments to attack, what are the adoption triggers and barriers?
  • How should the innovation be commercialized (start-up company, licensing or sale of the IP, partnering, etc.)?
  • What ecosystem is needed to support the business (supply chain, channels, partners, etc.)?
  • What is the entity source of differentiation and how will it protect and sustain it?
  • What is the road map for going to market (product line, pricing, market communication, channels, etc.)?
  • What is the business model, how will it capture profit?
  • What are the capital requirements (whom to approach, the deal structure, terms, etc.)


This page was last updated: Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 11:02:05 AM
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