Selecting Appropriate Industrial Projects for Capstone Design Programs

Spencer P. Magleby, Robert H. Todd, D. Len Pugh, and Carl D. Sorenson
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

Clearly industry projects can provide great benefits in an academic design program, but can also become problematic to manage, and can overshadow the educational goals of the Program. In order to have successful experiences with industry sponsored projects, there must be careful definition, management and monitoring. Projects tend to fall into three categories: 1) new product development projects, 2) manufacturing process equipment, and 3) projects that involve systems integration. There are a number of different sponsor situations that affect project management and outcomes. An outline and discussion on the guidelines to be used in recruiting and selecting of industry-sponsored design projects follows. Leaning too far to either the academic or the industrial side in selection of projects can prove to be problematic.


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