Seniors enrolled in Penn State Altoona's Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) degree program have the opportunity to participate in a unique senior project that spans two 15-week semesters. This time frame allows students to expand the project duration to either winter or summer break if necessary. Students are energized to design projects that incorporate the use of three components-electrical, mechanical and programming. The students then research the project idea, design the project, source the materials, build the design, and operate and test the final project. The most successful projects feature a detailed description with clear and concise objectives from the sponsor. During the first semester, students will design and purchase any necessary components. Building and testing will occur during the second semester, along with the capstone presentation.
Ideally, industry sponsors should submit project ideas eight weeks prior to the semester in which the project will be initiated since Penn State Altoona currently requires students to use mechanical, electrical, and programming in their senior design projects. Spring to fall semester projects provide the industry sponsor with an opportunity to continue the project during summer break through an internship or stipend for the students. The final design presentations are made during the last day of classes before finals at the student showcase.
Each project has its own specific outcomes and deliverables, and each project differs slightly from others. Most projects have a team of 2 to 3 students who work on the project throughout two 15-week semesters. The objective is to complete all projects at the end of this timeline; however, depending on the nature of the project and any potential issues, the project's outcomes and deliverables are subject to change. Some long-term projects may span multiple teams and semesters.
Eight Weeks Prior to Semester (November 15 or July 15)
Open submission for industry partners to present ideas for consideration are accepted. Projects are reviewed to ensure they meet the requirements of mechanical, electrical, and programming components. Instructors will work with sponsors to ensure the project meets both Penn State's and the sponsor's requirements.
During the Semester
Students are assigned to teams with corresponding projects. The industry sponsor is encouraged to attend the kick-off project meeting with students and the Penn State Altoona adviser. Students then research information, create a design, run calculations, create Bill of Material, order parts, and create drawings. There will be weekly meetings with their Penn State Altoona adviser and/ or industry sponsor adviser to clarify additional details. A final presentation will be made at the end of the semester to the Penn State Altoona community and sponsor advisers at the student showcase.
Depending on the complexity of the project and the sponsor's involvement, the students may be invited to participate in a paid internship or receive a project stipend to continue work during the summer.
Second Semester of Project
Students will use this time to build and program the project. Students will still have weekly meetings with their Penn State Altoona and industry advisers to discuss the project's progress and any potential issues. Students will present and demonstrate their project to Penn State Altoona faculty and advisers at the Student Showcase during the last week of the semester in December or May. Following the presentation, students will provide the industry sponsor with technical reports, drawings, computer programs, presentations, and/ or videos and poster(s).
Industry sponsors are asked to make a gift of $3,500 to help cover the cost of materials and equipment to support the EMET senior projects. Some projects may incur additional expenses depending on the sponsor's needs and can be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Your commitment will be acknowledged in the student's presentation at the end of the project.
This $5,000 sponsorship opportunity provides $3,500 toward the student project and $1,500 toward a Student Showcase sponsorship and other needs for students in the EMET labs. An exciting event that features Penn State Altoona students from various disciplines, including business, electro-mechanical engineering technology, rail transportation engineering, and security and risk analysis, the Student Showcase is an opportunity for the community to see firsthand the fine work and talent at Penn State Altoona. This end-of-semester event brings students and community members together to build lasting relationships, while building the students' communication and networking skills. Your commitment will be acknowledged in the Student Showcase Program.
The sponsor is expected to participate throughout the project in research, design, sourcing, build, operating and testing. The most successful projects have one point of contact and considerable involvement from the sponsor.