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2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award

Systems Engineering Department announced as a winner of a $10,000 grant from The Boeing Company

The award was created to recognize and reward educators who have made outstanding contributions to undergraduate engineering education. The University of Virginia's Capstone Program was recognized for its potential to "develop leaders prepared to shape the future."

The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes work that has had a demonstrable effect on engineering education, often representing programs that have influenced other university curricula. The evaluation criteria emphasize the depth and breadth of their results:

  • Significance of the contribution to undergraduate engineering education.
  • Extent to which the contribution supports the development of the Boeing-desired attributes of an engineering graduate.
  • Evidence of internal and external effect on long-term, pervasive approaches to improving the educational process.
  • Extent to which the contribution is embedded institutionally so that its effect will persist if key contributors leave.
  • Demonstration of other factors that show significant effort toward improving undergraduate education, promoting engineering career opportunities, and providing understanding and appreciation for the work of enigneers.

The Capstone Program provides hands-on experience with real systems design problems. Students work on project teams under the direction of a faculty advisor. Each team is assigned an open-ended design problem presented by an outside client working with the faculty advisor. Students apply what they have learned in the classroom to resolve the client's problem. The team works with the client, visiting facilities, interacting with employees, refining goals and objectives, establishing options, defining appropriate models and tools, determining data requirements and availability, collecting data, verifying analyses and results, and validating recommendations. Students are responsible for team organization and management, for developing and maintaining budgets and work and reporting schedules, and for adhering to the highest standards of professional ethics and conduct at all times.