International Capstone Student Projects Giving Real World, Global Team Experiences

Phillip A. Sanger, Anna Friesel, Hay Geraedts, Luis Ernesto Quineche Orellana, Ruth Canahuire, Frederick Berry

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Most undergraduate students do not have the opportunity to travel abroad and experience and develop communication skills with others cultures. However, in this global world, today's engineer is likely to have to work in global international teams with colleagues from other nationalities. The challenge for many engineering curricula is how to include, in a realistic way, this global dimension. In the engineering technology (ET) program of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, an international capstone project has been operating for the past five years. This international capstone project is a version of the normal, industry sponsored, multidisciplinary capstone team project that is required of all ET students. In the international project, the team is composed with student team members from a non-US university. So far, teams have been formed with universities in Denmark, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Peru. The full team works on one integrated project in which the cultural dimensions are revealed and appreciated by the team members. Ideally, the project topic is proposed by a company with a global footprint in both the U.S. and in proximity to the foreign institution. Most of the global project is carried out using the full range of electronic communication tools such as email, skype, and blogs. In addition, two exchange trips are made with team members traveling to their opposite foreign location with the logistics of housing are accommodated by the host students for a total immersion experience. Ideally the first trip occurs near the initiation of the project for planning, organizing and conceptualization. One of the challenges is the synchronization of the two curricula and the academic schedules of the two institutions. This paper describes the various methods and flexibility used to accommodate this integration as well as gives examples of projects that have been completed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 28th EAEEIE Annual Conference (EAEEIE)
    Number of pages4
    Publication date2018
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-7711-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event28th European Association for Education in Electrical and Information Engineering Annual Conference - Reykjavík, Iceland
    Duration: 26 Sept 201828 Sept 2018
    Conference number: 28


    Conference28th European Association for Education in Electrical and Information Engineering Annual Conference
    Internet address


    • Capstone
    • Real world projects
    • International industry


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