Interdisciplinary senior design experience

Motivation

POETS is driving synergistic thermal and electrical power co-design and operation in tightly constrained, mobile environments. POETS is propagating this approach to the next generation of engineers by introducing undergraduate curriculum that encourages and supports interdisciplinary project design and implementation to break down the silos of mechanical, electrical and materials engineering disciplines. An interdisciplinary senior design capstone provides a path for engineering students to apply their discipline-specific knowledge, be trained from an integrated, systems engineering approach and be adept at cross-disciplinary coordination.
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Course Description

The end-goal of this effort is to create a standalone interdisciplinary senior design capstone course which allows engineering students to work across disciplines while meeting ABET and department requirements and allowing students to synthesize and implement their discipline-specific knowledge.
This course will be piloted at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2017. We are bringing students from the MechSE and ECE departments together to work on 1-3 industry-sponsored projects within the framework of POETS research. Projects will be pulled from POETS industry partners or POETS faculty members. Student teams will be required to present proposals for their project work, evidence of cross-discipline challenges, collaborative tasks, and a final oral presentation of the end-product/solution.
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Outcomes

In addition to the outcomes of standard engineering capstone courses, we hope this interdisciplinary approach will train students to effectively communicate with others outside their discipline, understand which problems lend themselves to well-defined modular designs versus integrated approaches, and identify cross-disciplinary concepts and approaches. We anticipate that learning in complex systems to help break down thedisciplinary siloes and establish costs and benefits of integrated capstone efforts at UIUC.
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Industry sponsorship

POETS is seeking sponsorship of two POETS capstone projects at the level of $7-10k and one project at a $4-7k level. Additional mentorship from industry members is welcomed, but not required. For more information please contact Karen Bender (kbender@illinois.edu) and Jessica Perez (jgperez@illinois.edu) for more information.