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K-State Today

July 8, 2013

K-State faculty member takes top prize at engineering education conference

Submitted by Tina Long

A paper co-authored by a Kansas State University assistant professor received a top award at a national conference dedicated to excellence in engineering education.

Jessica Heier Stamm, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, received the New Industrial Engineering Educator Outstanding Paper Award at the 2013 American Society for Engineering Education conference. The purpose of the award is to recognize exceptional industrial engineering instruction among junior faculty members.

Heier Stamm shares the award with paper co-authors Lesley "Schafer" Strawderman, a department alumna who is now a faculty member at Mississippi State University, and Denise Bauer from the University of Idaho.

In "A Review of Capstone Course Designs Used in Industrial Engineering Programs" the trio presents the results of their study of capstone courses offered by industrial engineering programs in the United States. Results reported include information on course design, teams and disciplines, and relevance to the industrial engineering profession. A comprehensive understanding of various capstone course models will help determine if there is one best model or if the choice of course design may depend on characteristics of the program such as geographic location, student body size and faculty size.

Within engineering curricula, capstone — or senior design — courses are an essential element of the undergraduate experience. In these courses, seniors use the knowledge gained throughout their studies to analyze a design problem. Capstone courses are critical in ensuring students have the requisite knowledge before entering the engineering profession. They also serve as an important benchmarking tool for engineering programs to ensure they are meeting academic outcomes.