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					Senior Research/Design
Capstone Requirement

     Senior Capstone Project, University   1
               of Washington
 Rationale for the capstone project
 Scope of the Bioen 482 project
 The structure of the capstone experience
 The Bioen 481 class--Ramping up the 482 project

                 Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington         2
          Rationale for the capstone project
   We believe that Bioengineering students are best served by an
    early personal exposure to the excitement and challenges of
    hands-on research and development.
   Bioengineering 482, the required 8-credit Senior Capstone
    Research/Design Project, assists in the transition from student to
    engineer by providing training in research and design
   A successful research/design experience is the centerpiece of the
    undergraduate education in Bioengineering.
   While laboratory involvement can commence at any time, it must
    begin by Autumn Quarter of Senior year.
                          Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   3
                           Impact of the Capstone Project
   Benefits
     – To the Undergraduate Student
         » Invaluable experience in research and design in their chosen field
         » Synthesis of classroom experiences
         » Marketable skills and items for their CV
     – To the Mentoring Graduate Students and Postdocs
         » Experience mentoring and managing subordinates
         » Acceleration of their own research projects
         » Assistance from highly motivated students on a specific timetable
     – To the Faculty
         » Enhanced progress on existing research projects
         » Low-cost initiation of new projects and generation of preliminary data
     – To the Department
         » Expanding the scope of existing research strengths to the undergraduate experience
   Limiting Factors
     – Research laboratory space
     – The time of faculty, staff and graduate students
                                   Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington            4
            The Challenge: balancing project content
                  between research and engineering
   Scientific Research                           Engineering Design
    – Discovering mechanisms                        – The systematic and creative
      underlying the universe                         application of scientific and
    – Finding out what happens                        mathematical principles to practical
    – Finding out why things happen                   ends such as the design,
                                                      manufacture, and operation of
    – Finding out how things are                      efficient and economical structures,
      organized                                       machines, processes, and systems.
    – Finding the mathematical                      – Making things that perform a
      structure behind the facts                      useful (bioengineering) function or
                                                      solve an unmet need
     In all cases the final research/design project must include elements that were
     designed by the student
                                 Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington           5
                             It’s not all black and white
            Scientific Research                                   Engineering Design
   Basic                                              Applied
   Quantitative and descriptive                       Quantitative
   Understanding the nature of a problem              Solving a (biomedical) problem
   Developing tools to better understand              Developing tools to solve that problem

                                  Student’s projects are between

                                  Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington              6
                             Project Quality Control
   Approved projects must have both a research and a
    design component
    – Following an existing research protocol, no matter how
      complex, does not constitute adequate design
    – Design not geared toward the solution of a medical or
      biological problem does not constitute adequate research
   The project write-ups that students write in Bioen 481 in
    Spring quarter of their Junior year are reviewed for
    content by the Student Affairs Committee of the
    Department at the beginning of the Summer quarter.
                        Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   7
               What happens in capstone projects? I
   Individual projects often                                     4 Analyze
    look a lot like the “standard               3 Perform
    model” of normal research                  experiments                       5 Make
   Left out of the cycle to right
    is the requirement for
                                              2 Build
    frequent communication                   Apparatus?
    with mentors.                                                               6 Communicate
                                                                                   with peers
   While salary is not provided
    for coursework, faculty                    financial
    must have funds available                   support                          Update
    for supplies and, perhaps,                                                 the model*
                                                                1 Design
    equipment                                                  experiments
                                *Generate new
                           Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington                    8
              What happens in capstone projects? II
   More engineering-                                            6 Perform
    oriented projects may                       5 Design       test protocol      7 Perform
    have a cycle more like                    test protocol
                                                                                & data analysis
    that at right.                         4 Build
   Obtaining financial                apparatus and/or                            8 Evaluate
                                        write software                               results
    support is just as
    necessary for                            3 Plan for                           9 Communi-
    engineering-oriented                    data analysis                        cate results &
    projects as in science-                                                       conclusions

    oriented ones                              2 Design                         10 Address
                                              experiments      1 Establish or    feedback

                          Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington                       9
                                    Project Expectations
   If the project is well designed and carried out, the output
    of the project (data, designs, analysis, etc.) should form
    the core (or all of) a publication in a research journal.
   Students are graded by their faculty mentor for the entire
    project (often 1 year long) in the quarter in which the
    student completes it.
   Completion requirements include a written document in
    the format of a paper for publication, and, for honors
    students, an oral presentation.

                       Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   10
                            Capstone Project Scope
   Not too small
    – The work should be significant, and novel.
    – Work should be publishable in a peer-reviewed journal, either
      as a first author publication, or as a section of one in which
      another person is the primary author
   Not too big
    – Being overly ambitious is a trap.
    – Projects should be broken into small steps that are
      accomplishable in much less than the time available to the
    – This anticipates the problems that are bound to happen.

                        Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   11
                                           From whose laboratories
   Bioengineering Core Faculty            can the students choose?
    – Tenured and Tenure Track (have state dollars to support them, and so have
      teaching duties)
    – Research Track (salaries supported by research dollars, and may not have
      any teaching duties)
    – Research Scientists are not allowed by UW to be advisors of graduate
   Bioengineering Adjunct Faculty
    – Are UW as graduate faculty advisors not in Bioeng, but have once advised
      or are currently advising Bioeng graduate students
   Bioengineering Affiliate Faculty
    – Scientist/Engineers not at UW, but with some form of collaborative
      research or educational project with Bioeng.
    – They may be chosen as capstone advisors only by permission of the
      department, and with a core faculty member as a co-advisor.
                             Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington    12
   A recent NIH-funded undergraduate training grant
    (David Castner, PI)
   12 competitively selected students are placed in clinical
    research labs for 3-month summer projects co-mentored
    by clinical and Bioengineering faculty.
   Grant provides stipend, travel to an NIH conference,
    seminars; has some required activities
   CREE summer projects may be used as the jump-off
    point for a 482 project
   Applications due by January of the Junior year
                       Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington      13
          Preparing for the Capstone Project
 Each student must find a laboratory in which to
  do the project
 This may require soul-searching on the part of the
  students to identify their interests, followed by a
  good deal of research on the professors, their
  research and their laboratories
 There is a schedule of pre-research tasks they
  must perform
                  Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   14
                                         Fall and Winter of Junior Year
   By the end of Fall quarter                      Tasks for Students
    – Identify general area of research interest and names of exactly 3 faculty
      members to be interviewed before the end of Winter quarter.
    – Whether or not the student will also apply to CREE.
   Before or during Winter quarter
    – Interview 3+ faculty members (after having researched the labs, talked to grad
      students, etc.), leading to a mutual decision to accept student in one laboratory
      for the 482 project
   By the first class of Bioen 481 in Spring
    – Identify which 3 faculty the student interviewed and when
    – Identify the lab in which the student will work.
    – Indicate whether a firm agreement has been reached with the PI
   By week 4 of Spring quarter
    – Identify the specific research topic for your project

                                 Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington        15
         Examples of specific advice to the students
   View at least one recent research video by each of the top 3
    candidates (archived on a departmental web site)
   Speak to post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students to find
    out what the labs are like (techniques used, work style, funding
    stability, presence of other undergrads, pressure level, social life,
   Remember that misery loves company, so also talk to students
    that left the labs
   Familiarize yourself with at least one recently published research
    paper by the group
   Arrange for a ~30 minute meeting with at least 3 professors to
    discuss possible work in their laboratories.
                            Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   16
                               Examples of Student-Faculty
                                          Interview Issues
   Students should:
    – be warned that there are reasons why they may be turned down by
    – dress as if they are going to job interviews
    – prepare appropriate informative paperwork (transcript, list of
      courses, other lab experiences) and bring it or deliver it before the
   Students should not:
    –   Be overly casual (in speech, actions, or dress)
    –   Be excessively familiar
    –   Be late or cancel without warning
    –   Come without substantial familiarity with the faculty member’s

                            Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   17
                          The Bioen 481 Class
                     Spring quarter, Junior year
   Four major aims
    – To provide all students with the personal and professional
      skills necessary to working with their mentors in a research
    – To ensure that all students prepare a plan for completing their
      Capstone Research/Design projects on time.
    – To explore the nature of science and engineering and how they
      interact with the individuals, society, and world around them
    – To prepare students for making intelligent and informed career
      decisions during and after college

                        Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   18
                      Lecture and In-Class Discussion Topics
   Topics include                                  There are generally guest lectures
     – Comparison of Scientific Research             on the following topics
       and Engineering Design                         –   Intellectual Property
     – Developing Good Technical                      –   Science, Engineering and the Law
       Writing Skills                                 –   Technology Transfer
     – Surviving and Thriving in a                    –   The Nature of Small Businesses
       Research Laboratory
                                                      –   Global Health Issues
     – Career Paths for Bioengineers
                                                      –   Medical Ethics
     – The Intimate Relationship between
       Science, Engineering and
     – Funding Science and Engineering
     – What Differentiates Good
       Science/Engineering from Bad
     – Developing Bioengineering Ethics
     – Predicting the Important
       Bioengineering Technologies for
       the Next 50 Years
                              Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington              19
                      Why Reading Science Fiction
              Enhances the 481 Learning Experience
   Most of what our students are taught is about things that pertained
    >20 years in the past
   Most of our students’ working careers will occur 10 - 50 years in
    the future
   A successful career will, in part, be based on our students making
    good guesses of what will be important in the future.
   Good science fiction writers as a profession extrapolate from what
    we know to what we may know and do.
   In a good SF story, and author can try out new ideas, new
    technology, and new science, in a realistic context
   The story can extrapolate the personal/social/political implications
    of the science/technology
   A good science fiction writer is running a form of simulation.
                           Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   20
                        481 Class ―deliverables‖ I
   Several self-selected sets of students are responsible for leading
    small group discussions of key ideas presented in specific science
    fiction readings that their group reads
   These readings are generally science fiction books that incorporate
    as central themes issues of importance to Bioengineering (e.g.,
    tissue engineering, sale of human organs,alteration of human
    genetics, cloning, machine-based artificial intelligence)
   Teams are graded on the degree to which they create informative
    and stimulating discussion related to the topics presented in the
    readings for the session.

                          Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   21
                    481 Class ―deliverables‖ II
   We find that many of our students are completely
    dissociated from news events of any kind.
   This activity is included to promote a habit of life-long
    connection with the unfolding events around them.
   For a period during the class students are asked to keep a
    log of news items related to bioengineering topics.
   News items may come from any source, including
    newspapers, television, the internet, and direct
   The students are graded on the quantity and quality of
    the entries in this log.
                       Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   22
                     481 Class ―deliverables‖ III
   Students perform a brief patent search using one or more sources
    (USPTO, for example).
   Students play the role of an inventor in a small company who
    believes he or she has invented a new and effective biomedical
    device—the nature of the device is chosen as part of the
   The task is to find out if such a device already exists, how it
    differs (or they differ) from the ―novel‖ device, who owns the
    patents and who licensed them, and whether the company that
    licensed the patent(s) is likely to be able to commercialize that
    technology, or has already done so.
   The deliverable is a 2-page write-up including patent numbers.

                         Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   23
                       481 Class “deliverables” IV
   Students write and hand in two drafts of their 482 research plan.
    The papers contain 4 principal elements:
    – the social and technical background of their capstone project (3 pages)
    – a specific set of experiments to be carried out during the next year (3 pages)
    – a timetable of all work to be done during the next year, including both
      classes and research, with estimated dates of completion of all steps (1
    – a detailed bibliography for parts 1 and 2, done in numbered format (with in-
      text citations) and full titles of all references (1 page)
   The first draft is graded for content, but not form
   The second draft is graded for both form and content.
    – In it, writing must be in good formal (not colloquial) English, with attention
      paid to punctuation, reference formatting, grammar, etc.

                             Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington         24
               481 Class ―deliverables‖ V
 A 3-minute oral presentation of the research plan
  is made to the entire class as a test of oral
  presentation skills as a final exam
 This gives all Juniors a chance to see what
  interesting projects their fellow student are
 This has been remarkably popular despite the fact
  that it is an exam.

                  Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   25
                           481 Class Grading
Task                                                        Points
Attendance: 18 x (1 points)                                  18
Active Participation in Discussions                           7
Leading reading discussion session                            7
News Log                                                      4
Patent search                                                 4
First Draft of Research Plan                                 10
Second Draft of Research Plan                                25
Oral Presentation of Research Plan:                          25
Total                                                        100

        Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington            26
   There are still only two classes that have completed 482 projects,
    so the program is still a work in progress.
   Undergraduate students are making substantial contributions to the
    research programs of their mentors.
   Graduate students and faculty mentors have been pleasantly
    surprised at the eagerness, competence and efficiency of the
   Most students have been completing their 482 projects on time
    and to everyone’s satisfaction.
   Some 482 projects (as well as internships) have led to hiring of
    Bioengineering students by companies that have participated
    directly or indirectly in those projects.
   So far, the experiment has been a great success.
                         Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   27
                     Things to change
   Add a slide near the beginning that shows the
    timetable more clearly and points out that
    BIOEN 482 is 8 credits. The required
    prerequisite, BIOEN 481 prepares the
    students for 482, is 4 credits.

                    Senior Capstone Project, University of Washington   28

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