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Another form of industry involvement in the capstone design project is through the plant visits for students.
Visits to the industries, particularly to plants with manufacturing activities closely related to the design project problem, can help students broaden their learning experiences by helping them gain a better understanding of the overall process as well as by facilitating awareness of new technologies, good industrial practices, and safety issues.
In continuation of such efforts, an industry visit to Asia-Pacific Breweries Singapore was organised during Semester II of AY2014/15.
More than 100 final year undergraduates participated in both visits On conclusion of the design project, an online survey was conducted via the IVLE to evaluate students’ perceptions and learning from having enhanced industry involvement in the design project.
This module has a strong technical and professional component, with students having to review and evaluate process alternatives, simulate and optimise the chosen process using Aspen HYSYS and/or Matlab packages, size process units/equipment, conduct safety, health and environmental studies, and perform economic analysis.
Details of the design project structure and implementation methodology at Ch BE, NUS can be found in our previous article (Bansal et al., 2012).
Inviting experienced engineers as guest speakers provide elements of an authentic learning environment (Donovan, Bransford, & Pellegrino, 1999; Herrington & Herrington, 2006), and help to enrich the students’ overall learning experience in several ways.
The anonymous survey collected both quantitative and qualitative feedback from students.
A total of 105 and 200 students participated in the survey conducted in AY2013/14 and AY2014/15 respectively. An international comparison of final year design project curricula.
One of the primary requirements towards achieving the intended learning outcomes for the design project is the formulation of an open-ended engineering problem that is realistic and accurately reflects the constraints found in the industry.
Though faculty advisors are responsible for preparing the problem statement, feedback from the members of the industry can be very helpful in ensuring that the proposed design project problem is industry-relevant and adequate in preparing students for their professional careers.