Format of Original
International Journal of Engineering Education
Opportunities for industry involvement in capstone design courses go beyond industry sponsorship of capstone design projects. Representatives from industry can serve as guest lecturers, curriculum advisors, and design project sponsors and team mentors. Since 2000, industry participation has been a core part of the capstone design course at Marquette University. Practicing engineers provide a relevant, practical real-world perspective of their topic, reinforcing its importance to professional engineering practice. Students and faculty benefit from the up-to-date treatment of the topic provided by guest speakers from industry who have expertise in the topic and are willing to share their experiences with students. Students benefit from industry sponsorship of senior design projects through the opportunity to work on realworld problems of importance to industry, exposure to industry and company-specific project management and product development processes, and familiarity with economic, legal, and regulatory design constraints. This paper provides a brief description of the Multidisciplinary Capstone Design course at Marquette University, examples of industry involvement in the course, and the observed benefits of industry involvement to students, the university, and industry participants. It presents examples of current practices used at other schools as well as helpful recommendations for managing industry participation in capstone design courses.