Student Project Showcase
Student Project Showcase
Construction Management Student Project Showcase
Florida Tech’s Capstone Design Program Provides Real World Experiences
Students in the construction management program participate in a student project showcase prior to graduation. Called the Capstone Design Program, the project is intended to provide graduating seniors with “real world”experience where they apply knowledge gained in the classroom to design and construct their project.
The Capstone Design Project is divided into two segments:
- During the first semester student teams meet weekly to select a project and prepare a design proposal that includes the project management plan, scope of work, work breakdown structure, design schedule and budget.
- In the second semester, the student teams must execute their plan and construct their project. This phase includes actual construction activities, progress reports, a written technical report and an oral presentation to the team’s “clients” at the Annual FIT Project Showcase where they compete with other engineering and science students for top honors.
The Annual FIT Project Showcase is a university-wide event sponsored by Northrop Grumman. Students compete for showcase honors as judged by industry experts in their field. At the same time, they have an opportunity to display their projects to the public and invited high school groups.
This exceptionally realistic experience generates a considerable amount of team spirit and pride of accomplishment among the team members. Interacting with project clients, who are practicing professionals, increases the students’ confidence to enter the engineering field immediately upon graduation.
In 2013, the Construction Management Department’s project, “Build a Better Home,” won the President’s Cup Award for the College of Engineering. Students studied the use of super insulated concrete forms (ICF) rather than wood forms as an alternate construction method. Super insulated concrete forms are made of recycled Styrofoam and allow cast-in-place concrete to be poured into the form. Using ICF saves at least ten trees and the homeowner 30%-50% monthly savings on their energy bill.
Another advanced energy saving item that the students used in this project was the Nest Learning Thermostat. Nest uses “adaptive technology” to monitor activity in the home and adjust the temperature to the changing needs in the dwelling. Over time it turns itself into an energy-saving temperature controller, saving energy when the no one is home. It also allows homeowners to control the thermostat over a Wi-Fi network using a smart phone.
Lastly, students used photovoltaic solar panels to eliminate the need for electricity supplied by the local utility (off-grid).
In summary, the students demonstrated innovative construction techniques, saved energy and resources, and demonstrated how this could be done for an acceptable price and in compliance with local building codes.