Big blue: A multidisciplinary capstone engineering design project

James Lumpp, Jamey Jacob, Suzanne Smith, William Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The BIG BLUE project at the University of Kentucky is an attempt to integrating systems engineering concepts and processes into undergraduate engineering education. NASA is addressing the anticipated shortage of aerospace engineers through workforce development projects of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. BIG BLUE is a workforce development project currently in its fourth year at Kentucky funded by NASA. BIG BLUE is a comprehensive systems engineering experience for undergraduate engineers to propose, design, and implement a complex aerospace system while managing the financial and human resources. The system the students develop is a Mars aircraft and a prototype high-altitude test-bed UAV that is launched in high Earth atmosphere. In essence, students involved in BIG BLUE joined the aerospace workforce while participating in the project, which influenced their decision to choose and pursue an aerospace career. Opportunities were also available to visit and work with practicing aerospace engineers in industry and at NASA. Annual support and expenditures, student and faculty involvement in project management and aerospace workforce development results are included. With three successful flight experiments in three years, a review of BIG BLUE reveals the effort, cost and results of experiential systems engineering and aerospace workforce development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2006
Event113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2006Jun 21 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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