Research Assignments

Joe Zulovich: ASM 4970

The objective of the capstone course is to provide students the experience of working in teams to solve and present solutions to “real world” problems in a professional setting. Circumstances encountered during the course involve problem solving; technical report preparation and oral presentations will be similar to those encountered in many job situations.

The capstone course is designated as a writing intensive course. Writing intensive courses use written and oral communication to demonstrate the student’s ability to do critical thinking.

The capstone course is designed to integrate critical thinking with the many aspects of the college experience. Course requirements are to develop a solution to an open-ended, complex problem using the following methods and approaches:

  1. Work as teams to:
    • Develop a set of alternatives
    • Make decisions
    • Assign duties and coordinate individual efforts
    • Summarize and share information with others
  2. Gather Information – For developing and supporting problem solutions from:
    • Library – Technical articles, books, professional periodicals
    • Textbooks and references
    • Company Literature
    • Reliable internet information
    • Surveys
    • Experts
  3. Have a “Plan of Action” to:
    • Develop a situation analysis and a problem statement
    • Develop a set of sub-problems
    • Determine steps to address the sub-problems
    • Schedule activities
    • Develop an action plan
  4. Use technical analysis to assess:
    • Course information
    • Information from others
    • Quantitative reasoning
    • Schematics and drawings that describe the problem solution
  5. Incorporate economics and management to (include all that are appropriate):
    • Complete a cost analysis – component/system, labor estimates to construct/install/operate
    • Support implementation of the technical solution
    • Show how to technically/economically include phases of solution if required
    • Complete a detailed economic analysis – Payback, return on investment, overall economic impact on the business/operation, life cycle costs etc.
  6. Synthesize a solution by:
    • Exploring innovation and alternative approaches
    • Using critical evaluation of technical and economic information, and sound judgment
    • Developing a set of recommendations that are justified
  7. Communicate the solution by:
    • Written progress reports and oral presentation updates
    • Final oral presentation and written final/complete report
    • Problem explanation, solution process, and recommendations
    • Communicating a concise and detailed explanation of the solution
    • Defending your recommendations with sound reasoning