DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A CROSS DISCIPLINE CAPSTONE DESIGN EXPERIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA
AbstractOne of the most effective and efficient ways for an engineering program to facilitate compliance with the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) accreditation criteria is through capstone design projects and courses. Currently, the University of Manitoba Faculty of Engineering has several capstone design courses; however, each is independently focused on its own respective discipline. The resulting educational experience for students, though rigorous and challenging, is maintained within the boundaries of the students’ engineering discipline, thereby neglecting to provide the opportunity for students to work with people from multiple disciplines and across multiple fields. This style/mode of education, where students work in silos, arguably does not reflect real world engineering. Program representatives from the Faculty of Engineering agree. An interdisciplinary capstone course would provide a more rounded engineering education for students. Exposing students to other disciplines and facilitating their learning of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to work in a multidisciplinary capacity will more effectively prepare students for the real world. Thus, to better comply with CEAB requirements and to increase the breadth and depth of students’ engineering education, an interdisciplinary capstone pilot course will be launched at the University of Manitoba.
This paper explains how this multidisciplinary capstone pilot program has been developed, and touches on the early stages of its initiation and implementation.