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Senior Assignment


Individual Department and Program Senior Assignment Descriptions
School of Engineering



Civil Engineering

All students are required to complete a major design project in the capstone design course, CE 493, given in the last semester of the senior year. The design project is comprehensive and focuses on professional practice, is drawn from past coursework, and includes a variety of non-technical issues, such as safety, reliability, aesthetics, ethics, and social impact. The student must draw on his/her undergraduate experiences in writing, speaking, critical thinking, analytical (mathematical) knowledge, computer literacy, physical science knowledge, aesthetic awareness, ethics, and economics. Successful completion of the project consists of a written report together with an oral presentation of its central features. The report contains both a description of the strictly engineering features of the project as well as an analysis of the manner in which the non-technical questions have been addressed.

By reading the reports and observing the oral presentations, the faculty is able to assess the students' abilities to express ideas effectively in oral and written communication. By examining the proposed designs described in the reports, the faculty is able to assess the students' abilities to make use of analytic and quantitative problem-solving skills. By considering the scope and depth of the students' treatments of the non-technical issues that are associated with the design project, the faculty is able to assess the students' abilities to consider wider societal issues that often accompany civil engineering practice.

CE 493 (Engineering Design) for 3 hours credit is required for graduation. A letter grade is assigned for the course as a whole, based on the faculty's assessment of the written and oral reports.



Computer Science

The mechanism for Senior Assignments in Computer Science is a senior project. Two courses are associated with the project: CS 425 and CS 499.

CS 425 - This course is the initial phase of the Senior Assignment. It provides students with practical experience in team development of a software product and allows them to put into practice the knowledge acquired in previous Computer Science classes. Students also gain a better understanding of software development methodology and of selected topics in software engineering including social, legal, and ethical issues. By the end of this course, teams are expected to have completed the design and planning phases of their senior project.

CS 499 - Students complete the project planned in CS 425. At the end of the semester students submit the project to the Department of Computer Science for review and give a public presentation on the project. The materials that constitute the project are available to all department faculty members at least one week prior to the scheduled presentation time.

CS 425 (Senior Project: Software Design for three hours credit) and CS 499 (Senior Project: Software Implementation for three hours credit) are required for graduation. Information about on-going and past projects can be found at the Computer Science Senior Project web site.


Construction
Students are required to complete the Senior Assignment as part of CNST 452, Construction Management and Senior Assessment. In this class, students are assigned a series of typical construction management problems. Each student is responsible for presenting a clear and concise solution to these problems. In addition, students analyze selected construction projects in detail and make recommendations for implementation of emerging standards, technologies, and management approaches. Students verbally present their findings to the Construction faculty and, often, to an audience that contains external reviewers.

CNST 452 (Construction Management and Senior Assessment) for 4 hours credit is required for graduation.



Electrical and Computer Engineering

All students are required to complete the capstone design courses, EE 404 and EE 405, typically taken in the last two semesters before graduation. A major part of these capstone design courses is a design project that is required to be the culmination of prior course work. The design project is carried out as a team project. It emphasizes the use of technical skills and knowledge gained in engineering courses. It also requires students to pay attention to, and report on, a variety of non-technical issues such as aesthetics, cost, manufacturability, scalability, reliability, safety, engineering ethics, and professionalism, as well as environmental, global and societal impact of the design.

Each design team produces a comprehensive final report and makes an oral presentation on its project. Final reports and oral presentations are also used for determining course grades in ECE 404 and ECE 405. In addition, they are used for assessing a number of program outcomes in the department's assessment plan.



Mechanical Engineering


All students are required to complete major design projects in capstone courses. ME 482 - Mechanical Engineering Design I is aimed at getting students to:

  • develop proficiency in brainstorming and feasibility analysis
  • gain an understanding of the necessary steps of the design process
  • obtain the ability to specify design requirements for modeling or prototyping a piece of hardware or system
  • gain an ability to properly document a design project
  • write an effective proposal based on a literature review
  • secure an understanding of ethical and professional responsibility of an engineer
  • have the ability to make a persuasive oral presentation

ME 484 - Mechanical Engineering Design II is the second of the capstone design courses. In this class, students work steadily and effectively to meet project deadlines and produce a working prototype or a simulated model of a major design project. They also write an effective technical report and make an oral presentation in front of an unfamiliar panel of judges usually selected among local industry and business leaders.

Capstone design projects can be either individual or team projects. The projects may come from industry, capstone design faculty, other engineering faculty, or from the students themselves. In order to complete their projects, students must draw upon their entire educational experience including writing, speaking, critical thinking, analytical (mathematical) knowledge, computer literacy, physical science knowledge, aesthetic awareness, ethics, and economics. Students are confronted with competing considerations including safety, reliability, effectiveness, manufacturability, cost and environment. By reading students' project proposals and reports, and observing students' oral presentations, the faculty is able to assess the students' abilities to express ideas effectively in oral and written communication. By examining the technical reports, the faculty is able to assess the students' abilities to make use of analytical and quantitative problem-solving skills as well as computational techniques and/or engineering software to model mechanical systems. By considering the scope and depth of the students' treatments of the non-technical issues which are associated with the design project, the faculty is able to assess the students' abilities to consider wider societal issues which often accompany mechanical and industrial engineering practices.

ME 482 (Mechanical Engineering Design I) and ME 484 (Mechanical Engineering Design II) for 2 credit hours each are required for graduation.



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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