ABET and the Engineering Capstone
This website is an effort to prepare for the ABET accreditation visit. Efforts have been made to demonstrate that design experiences are integrated throughout the program. The capstone design course (a.k.a. Senior Projects) is essential and are a major focus of interest for the accreditation team.
More than half of the Criterion 3 (a through k) mandate outcomes that involve abilities directly related to design, and Criterion 4 specifically requires that a student's curriculum must have a culminating, major design experience.
Some of the characteristics necessary for well-prepared graduates include the ability to:
a. Ability to apply mathematics, science and engineering principles.
In addition to the design experience which incorporates engineering standards and realistic constraints it should include most of the following considerations:
b. Ability to design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data.
c. Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
d. Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
e. Ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
f. Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
g. Ability to communicate effectively.
h. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
i. Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
j. Knowledge of contemporary issues.
k. Ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
To accomplish this we need collaborative projects from industry.
How does it benefit industry:
- health and safety;
- social; and
- A first look at the graduating class for recruiting
- An opportunity to have a non-critical path, low priority, problem solved.
Even if the companies are not currently recruiting, they can see a long-term benefit to being involved with Wilkes University.
Wilkes University specifically ask for three things from our Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) member companies:
Note: The amount of mentoring that a company provides to the students is entirely up to the company. Some companies have mentored students very closely, others less so. This difference in support causes occasional unhappiness among students, with some students feeling that the course is "unfair" if they get less mentoring than some other students.
- A carefully defined project suitable for completion in two semester (9 months) by a team of four to six EE/ME/EGM students.
- The project should be slightly open-ended (to force the students to identify the problem requirements), not on the critical path for the company, and non-proprietary.
- The last requirement exists to eliminate legal issues which require much time to resolve.
- A guest lecture to the class on any technical topic (recruiting is allowed, but the talk should not be purely a recruiting presentation).
- This guest lecture gives each company exposure to all of the students in the class and not only to its team of students.
- The students see a broad range of real world ideas and perspectives.
- An opportunity for the students to present their project results at the corporate site. This adds a sense of importance to the project.
The project deliverables are staged through the two semesters. Each deliverable contributes to the student's class grade. The deliverables are:
The final demonstration and presentation puts together all previous documents in an updated form and includes a formal presentation, press release, and poster. If the company has specific deliverable items requirements they need to identify them in their project request.
- Requirements document
- Specification document
- Mechanical Drawings
- Software Description
- Prototype demonstration
- Test plan
- Final demonstration and presentation