Course: BIOEN 402 – Bioengineering Capstone Design Project
Credits: 10 total, divided among 2-4 consecutive quarters, with 2-6 credits per quarter. Students work in lab on a schedule agreed between each advisor and student (8-24 hours/week). All students convene one hour/week to discuss progress and course requirements with instructors.
Instructor: C. Neils, A. Taylor, and Bioengineering faculty. Each student registers with an individual Bioengineering faculty advisor. Information on advisor policy can be found on the Capstone Help File: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/home/capstone/capstone.html#section3
Neils and Taylor supervise writing progress, student presentations, and help troubleshoot individual issues that may arise.
Texts and Supplemental Materials: No required textbooks.
UW Catalog Description: Independent senior design project with final paper and poster.
Instructor Overview: The Department of Bioengineering offers two options for completing a senior capstone project. Students who choose the BIOEN 401‐402 sequence conduct an individual design project. Students who choose the BIOEN 401‐403‐404‐405 sequence conduct an individual research project and a team design project. The number of total credits in each sequence is equal.
BIOEN 402 places seniors in Bioengineering faculty laboratories to conduct individual design projects related to real medical problems. Students may initiate projects or choose projects suggested by the faculty host. A senior project may be part of a larger project, but it must have definable design goals and be sufficiently novel that its successful completion would merit publication in a science or engineering journal. The design content should be consistent with the ASEE white paper, Design versus Research: ABET Requirements for Design.1
During the project, seniors are members of a laboratory group, attending group meetings and sharing lab maintenance duties in addition to planning and executing the senior project. In larger lab groups, seniors are typically assigned a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow as mentor.
Students register for 10 credits, divided among 2‐4 sequential quarters with 2‐6 credits per quarter. Autumn quarter typically includes planning, equipment acquisition, and training, winter quarter includes fabrication and/or experimentation, and spring quarter emphasizes analysis and reporting. This schedule is flexible to accommodate students’ progress and graduation plans. The grade for all quarters of BIOEN 402 is determined upon completion of the course, the project, and a formal report. Details of capstone grading are provided in the appendix.
Each student will choose a host lab before starting BIOEN 401 in spring of the junior year, and must select a project topic early in BIOEN 401. The BIOEN 402 project proposal is developed during BIOEN 401, and the nature of the project is examined twice by the Student Affairs Committee and/or BIOEN 401 instructor. An initial review early in BIOEN 401 confirms that each project will be a culminating Bioengineering design experience, recommending changes when necessary. The second review is based on the project plan written in BIOEN 401, and may occur during the spring or summer quarter.
Additional details about the capstone procedures may be found in the capstone help file:
Prerequisites by Course: Bioengineering Capstone Principles (BIOEN 401)
Prerequisites by Topic: Biology, chemistry/biochemistry, probability and statistics for scientists and engineers.
Required or Elective: Required (One option for Capstone experience)
Students’ success in BIOEN 402 depends on their ability to perform the performance indicators described below, and to synthesize these tasks into a coherent effort. Individual students are assessed by their senior project advisor(s), with contributions from the course instructors; details are provided in the “Grading summary” section of the full syllabus.
All BIOEN 402 students are expected to present their work to the class during the winter or spring quarter. All BIOEN 402 students are encouraged to give a public presentation, i.e. one to which the university community is invited. The Mary Gates Symposium is a good opportunity, and most of our students participate in this. Students are encouraged to prepare a poster for review and feedback from the advisor and instructors.
Course Outcomes and Assessment:
Students’ success in BIOEN 402 depends on their ability to perform the tasks described below, and to synthesize these tasks into a coherent effort. Individual students are assessed by their senior project advisor(s), with contributions from the course instructors; details are provided in the “Grading summary” section below. In addition, the course itself is assessed annually by a committee of faculty who review 9 representative senior project reports (3 with high grades, 3 with low grades, and 3 with average grades). This annual assessment does not affect students’ grades.
All BIOEN 402 students are expected to present their work to the BIOEN 402/403 class during the winter or spring quarter.
All BIOEN 402 students are encouraged to give a public presentation, i.e. one to which the university community is invited. The Mary Gates Symposium is a good opportunity, and the department may set up a special presentation session as well. Students are also encouraged to prepare a poster for review and feedback from the advisor and classroom instructors.
Students’ ability to perform each of the tasks listed below is assessed based on their senior project reports, according to the attached grading rubric.
Outcomes Addressed by this Course:
B. Design and conduct experiments as well as analyze and interpret data
- Utilize BIOE skills to test experimental hypotheses or prototypes from design plans developed in BIOEN 401; correctly analyze results; compile results in a permanent record such as lab notebook or written reports.
C. Design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
- Apply design plans developed in BIOEN 401; modify and improve based on experimental results; adapt the design to meet the desired needs.
E. Identify, formulate, and solve Bioengineering problems.
- Recognize need in medical or bioscience community; evaluate its relative and absolute importance; cast need as engineering challenge; demonstrate device or process that addresses the problem.
G. Communicate effectively.
- Prepare detailed written report that addresses engineering, economic, and societal issues as shown in report outline. Maintain communication with lab members and advisors.
I. Recognize the need for, and ability to engage in, life-long learning.
- Show/describe the continuous progress in the field prior to and during project via literature search and analysis.
J. Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary issues.
- Display knowledge of contemporary issues surrounding the design, such as regulatory matters including standards, and environmental, social, legal, ethical, geopolitical consequences
M. Apply advanced mathematics (including differential equations and statistics), science, and engineering to solve the problems at the interface of engineering and biology.
- Apply advanced mathematics, science, and engineering; support conclusion with statistical analysis; assessment should emphasize statistical analysis.
N. Make measurements on and interpret data from living systems, addressing the problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems.
- Make measurements on and interpret data from living systems, addressing the problems associated with the interaction between living and non-living materials and systems. Identify what parameters to measure and methods involved. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of the methods.
Course Relationship to Program Educational Objectives:
This course allows students to apply the fundamentals they have learned, and to learn advanced topics and techniques, in a manner consistent with graduate/professional training in medicine and biology. The student projects are typically part of externally funded programs and address immediate or long-term issues that are of importance to human health. Students may encounter problems that require knowledge from any or all of their prior courses or that may require them to master concepts that they have not previously explored. Students must communicate their progress to their advisors, collaborators, and peers, who encompass a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds. Students are required to manage a real-world research and design project independently, while still working as part of a larger group in a workplace setting. They develop lab citizenship skills, technical expertise, and engineering design knowledge. Completion of their project allows students to gain key professional and research skills that they will need to obtain employment in bioengineering-related fields. Students help develop new knowledge for their lab. They gain experience in project management, working in a team in a lab setting, and communicating their ideas to their peers and supervisors. As such, this experience gives students tools needed to reach the following Program Educational Objectives in particular:
- Earn advanced degrees and/or obtain employment in bioengineering-related fields, such as medicine, device development, or biotechnology.
- Advance their careers by obtaining appropriate educational and professional qualifications.
- Contribute to responsible development of new technical knowledge.
- Take leadership roles in addressing domestic or global bioengineering-related issues.
Allow students to observe and practice the detailed tasks needed to plan and conduct Bioengineering projects and to maintain an R & D lab. Provide independent bioengineering design experience with educational support and advice. Promote the transition from student to engineer by assigning professional responsibilities. Provide experience working in a group. Provide practice writing and revising a thesis.
- Design of experiments, tools, and devices.
- Statistical basis for the design and analysis of experiments.
- Composition of design project reports.
- Oral presentations.
- Specialized topics and techniques as appropriate (mainly via experience in lab groups).
- Intellectual property, regulatory issues including standards, and R & D funding.
Students work in lab on a schedule agreed between each advisor and student (8‐24 hours/week). All students convene one hour per week to discuss their progress and course requirements.
(1) Gassert, J., Enderle, J.D., Lerner, A., Richerson, S. and Katona, P., Design versus Research; ABET Requirements for Design and Why Research Cannot Substitute for Design, Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, June 18‐21, 2006, Chicago, Illinois, Session 2006‐1139. Accessed September 14, 2009, http://soa.asee.org/paper/conference/paper‐view.cfm?id=1341 Also available via http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/about/about_accreditation.html#design.
BIOEN 402 is a hyphenated course, meaning that no letter/number grade is assigned until the last course of the sequence is complete. Earlier quarters receive an N grade, which are back‐filled upon assignment of the final numerical grade.
BIOEN 402 is graded on the following items:
- Quality and quantity of work in lab 40%
- In‐class contribution 10%
- Final project report 50%
At the end of the first two quarters, the primary adviser should provide a performance review and hypothetical numerical grade for the “Quality and quantity” portion of the course evaluation. When the numerical grade is calculated for the final quarter, the “Quality and quantity” portion should be consistent with the performance reviews reports from the previous quarters. This policy is intended to increase students’ motivation to improve when necessary, and to give them a more accurate prediction of their final capstone grade.
In‐class contribution – 10%
BIOEN 402 students are required to submit drafts of their capstone reports during each of the first two quarters of the project. The drafts should be submitted to the BIOEN 402/403 classroom instructors for feedback and to count toward the grade. Students are expected to participate in the weekly classroom meetings, and a presentation to the class is required during the last two quarters of the project. In addition, students should meet with their advisors at least quarterly. The results of this report and an estimate of the grade for “Quality and quantity of work in lab” should be reported to the BIOEN 402/403 classroom instructors. The classroom instructors will report a score for in‐class contribution to the capstone advisors for inclusion in the course grade.
Quality and quantity of work in lab – 40%
The capstone advisor(s) have the flexibility to judge – as objectively as possible – the performance of the student on a day‐to‐day basis. This judgment should consider progress on the project itself, as well as the student’s ability to function effectively as a member of a research lab group. Specific items to be considered include planning, record keeping, adherence to safety guidelines, following experimental procedures and good lab practice, communication with advisors and group members, follow‐through on agreements, and time spent on the project or in lab.
Table 1 provides a rubric for evaluating a student’s performance on the practical aspects of conducting the design project.
BIOEN 402 Project Report – 50%
The final report should take the form of a thesis with the content shown in the outline below; the order of contents is a guide and may be modified to fit the particular project. Recommended format is 12‐point Cambria or an similar font, 1.5‐line spaced, with 1‐inch margins. The recommended length is 25‐40 pages, not including references and appendices. All writing is to be in formal technical English, using EndNote or equivalent for references (with appropriate in‐text citations).
- Abstract (~250 words)
- Introduction, 16 pages
- Concise definition of the project, 1 page
- Significance (medical and/or scientific), 1‐2 pages
- Social, Ethical, Regulatory and Economic Issues, including industry and government standards for experimentation and design, 1‐2 pages
- Technical Background
- Theory, 2 pages
- Review of Literature (.30 relevant references concisely narrated), 5 pages
- Previous relevant work in the advisor’s laboratory, 2 pages
- Outstanding technical issues at the outset of the project, 2 pages
- Design of Tools, Devices, and Experiments, 5‐6 pages
- Overview of design and research plan as proposed in BIOEN 401, 1 page
- Overview of revised design process (if significantly different from proposal), 1 page
- Materials and Methods, 1 page
- Costs (e.g., equipment, services and supplies purchased for the project in Excel‐style table), 1 page
- Details of design process, including statistical basis for design of experiments, 2 pages
- Results, 22 pages
- Final timeline (using MS Project Gantt chart or equivalent), 1 page
- Data, including a chronological narrative, tables, figures, and statistical analysis, 15 pages
- Experimental/design decisions made by the student during the course of the project, 1 page
- Analysis and Conclusions, 4 pages
- Suggestions for future work, 1 page
- Credit to all others who gave assistance or financial support in the performance of the project, 1 paragraph
- At least 30, as noted above
- Optional additional figures, data, programs, CAD files, etc., in electronic form made available on a web site
Final Report Submission
The report is to be submitted to the primary advisor and any co‐advisor(s) in whichever form (paper or electronic) the adviser requests. The official due date is the last day of classes during the quarter in which the 10th credit of BIOEN 402 is taken. The report should also be submitted to the academic counselor as a PDF or Word document.
Final Report Grading
The final thesis is to be graded by the primary advisor. Grading of the report should be based on the criteria in the table below. Full credit for each item is 4 points, and the cumulative grade will be the average of the scores for the eight criteria. Items that are relevant but are omitted entirely should receive a zero.