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A Case Study of the Effects of Design Project Length on Team Collaboration and Leadership in Senior Mechanical Engineering Projects

[+] Author Affiliations
James Righter, Andy Blanton, Hallie Stidham, Doug Chickarello, Joshua D. Summers

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Paper No. DETC2017-68197, pp. V003T04A019; 8 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 19th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 14th International Conference on Design Education; 10th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5815-8
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


This paper describes exploratory research regarding leadership and communication within undergraduate engineering design teams. The case study was performed on student design projects of one and two semester duration to begin to assess the impact of project length on leadership and communication within the design teams. Data was collected using a survey that was given to the participants in three capstone design projects in Clemson University’s senior design course. The survey was administered within one month of course and project completion. While there were differences in the communication and leadership patterns between the teams, there were other possible influences beyond the project length such as team size and organization, organizational and geographic distribution, and the nature of the product. As a result, further research is proposed to study leadership and communication structures within undergraduate teams and multi-team systems (MTS).

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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