Biological and Agricultural Engineering Senior Capstone Experience: Learning Through Global Service
What is BAEN?
Biological and agricultural engineers make significant contributions to meeting many basic needs of society such as maintaining food quality, quantity and safety; improving environmental quality; and enhancing the quantity and quality of our water resources. Students can develop an emphasis in one of four areas: Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering, Food and Bioprocess Engineering, or Machine Systems Engineering. They can learn anything from the production and processing of food and fiber, to the preservation of environmental quality, to biological systems and processes, and to machine systems that interface with all of these.
What Are Global Design Teams?
The biological and agricultural engineering capstone class spans two semesters (fall and spring), and provides students with real-world engineering challenges from the private and public sectors. Student teams of three to five members work closely with their sponsors and communities to develop solutions to the challenges posed. Global design teams (GDT) focus on high-impact projects that can be addressed over the course of an academic year. These real-world, full-cycle design experiences help raise global awareness, both at home and abroad.
Condensed Global Design Fact Sheet here.
Click on the link to learn more about projects from the 2015-2016 year
What does it mean to be a sponsor for a Global Design Team?
Costs are shared by all, including the students themselves. The stakeholder community includes: the Texas A&M student’s home department, partner organization, interested corporations and academic partners in the host location. All of these work together to achieve positive, sustainable interaction while utilizing the technical skills and competencies of the students, employees, and volunteers involved in the project. The goal is to address specific challenges within the community for the mutual benefit of all. All participants are fully engaged and and committed to working together: Sponsors, Students, Faculty Advisors, and Community Partners comprise the team and contribute their time, financial support, and expertise toward its success.
Week Zero – Initial contact, any time prior to the beginning of the new semester, preferably over the summer months, to establish contact, present the idea’s feasibility, and start the discussion. Contact the BAEN Capstone Coordinator: Dr. Rabi Mohtar, firstname.lastname@example.org or his office (email@example.com) with your idea for a project and/or for sponsorship.
Target 1: Conceptual Design: discussion between Sponsor and BAEN Faculty to identify the concept and confirm it as a project for the coming year.
Target 2: Draft of the Project Deliverable: a one page sketch of the proposed deliverable/s will be provided to the Sponsor by the BAEN Faculty for Sponsor’s approval/feedback.
Target 3: Meet the Team: a preliminary discussion between Sponsor and Team. This happens either in person in the classroom or via Skype, and is the first direct contact with students.
Target 4: In-class Student Presentation: during which the sponsors provide feedback (in person or via Skype) to the presentation of the design plan.
Exams Week and Winter Break (No Classes)
Target 5: Getting Started: Literature review, brain storming for possible solutions, initiation of hands-on work
Target 6: Final Design Submission to the sponsors, student visits to sponsors for this presentation
Capstone Event – poster symposium, open to the public, in which students interact with sponsors and faculty and guests presenting, explaining, and celebrating their experience.
How to Get Involved:
Students: Global design teams include undergraduate students from disciplines both within and outside of the college of engineering. While student recruitment is typically focused on students enrolling in their capstone projects, opportunities for involvement may be available throughout the year.
Faculty: Global design teams invite faculty to become involved as advisers, teachers and consultants. We welcome ideas for new global service-learning courses.
Community: Organizations (companies, NGOs, etc.) interested in engaging in, or sponsoring, a global design team of specific interest to them are essential to the program.
For more information contact Professor Rabi H. Mohtar at firstname.lastname@example.org.