Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Joshua D. Summers, Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Gregory Mocko, Co-Chair

Committee Member

Oliver Myers, Co-Chair

Abstract

The overall goal of this research is to understand and explore the motivation andvalue that industry gains from sponsoring senior year capstone design projects in theDepartment of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. Further, this researchcompares the true value as defined by the sponsoring companies against the perceivedvalue of the faculty recruiting these projects. It compares the thoughts between the facultymembers of the capstone program for the Department of Mechanical Engineering atClemson University and the company sponsoring those projects. This can help the facultyin dealing with the company sponsors when soliciting new projects.Capstone design program is a bridge that improves the industry-academia relations.It is important to understand the requirements of the industries and what they expect fromthe undergraduate students as the companies are important customers of the academia.While sponsoring the projects companies have certain expectations, in order to improvethe capstone design program it important to know these needs and try implementing in lateryears. The thesis also investigates the faculty members in the Department of MechanicalEngineering at Clemson University in order to discern the perceptions of faculty that recruitthe project for the senior year undergraduate program.This research uses interviewing as a method of data gathering to explore theperceptions of the faculty and company sponsors regarding the capstone design program.There are three research questions used as a basis to conduct the interviews. Ultimately,the thesis presents a retrospective view of the impact of capstone design projects in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University since 2004. The thesis concludes with suggestions to improve the capstone design program.

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