Capstone Program: University Students Solving Real-World Problems
Vol.8 Issue 1
Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center Capstone

The Capstone Program at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center continues to successfully connect students from Oklahoma universities and provide them with real-world learning and problem-solving opportunities with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Students from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma are plugged into organizations across the Aeronautical Center. These students integrate with the offices on the Center and assist in addressing the challenges that those organizations face.

Examples of potential Capstone Program disciplines which students may encounter include Computer Sciences, Telecommunications, Physics/Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Research and Statistics, Science/Biology/Medical, Electronics and Communications, Automation Engineering, Physical Environment Engineering, Environmental Control Technologies, Drafting & Design and more!

Students work with university faculty advisors, FAA supervisors and Subject Matter Experts. These teams work together to address identified issues and they determine successful resolutions. The students gain a deeper understanding of how real-world problems are tackled in the FAA. The FAA benefits by augmenting its capabilities at no cost, while providing unique career opportunities for students. Here are a few of the things that have been happening lately in the MMAC Capstone Program!

OU Capstone Team Evaluates Blockchain Technology with ESC Architects

Young college students work together to resolve real-world issues in the MMAC’s Capstone program

Enterprise Architects from the Enterprise Services Center (ESC) teamed up with students from the University of Oklahoma (OU) Price School of Business Management Information Systems (MIS) Capstone Team.

The OU Capstone project’s objective was to provide an overview of Blockchain technology, identify potential risks, research the usage of Blockchain within the Federal Government, and provide an overview of how Blockchain is used with Oracle Enterprise Business Suite (EBS). Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger of transactions using cryptography to store real-time information across a network of computers. Cryptocurrencies are a common use case for Blockchain technology.

The OU team collaborated with ESC Enterprise Architects and provided research about Blockchain and its use in the marketplace and in the Federal Government. The OU team was unable to identify any current uses for Blockchain technologies within the Federal Government, but they provided ESC a greater understanding of this technology, thereby positioning ESC for future opportunities. The OU Capstone Team members (including Lizzy Kosco, Allyson Cusato, Arthur Kudhlande, Konner Marak, and Noah Pascual) presented their final report to the ESC team.

ESC will continue to be proactive in reviewing Blockchain and other emerging technologies to provide efficient, secure, and collaborative services for its customers.

Academy/AMA-020 Collaborates with OU Capstone Team on Automatic Training Schedules

The FAA Academy identified a need to improve the scheduling of resources throughout the organization. Based on previous successful Capstone project collaborations in the Academy, AMA-020 Training Services Support Division consulted with a Capstone Team from the University of Oklahoma’s (OU) Management Information Systems (MIS) Department.

Throughout two semesters, OU Capstone Team members (Shane Munoz, Zack George, John Niketas, Nicholas Wilson, Xin Yu, Joseph Heddins, Margaret Purcell, April English, Stephen McDonald, and Saba Sandhu) collaborated with AMA-020. First, the team gathered requirements to establish criteria for project success. They then evaluated potential commercial "off-the-shelf" products to determine which application would be best suited to the project’s needs. Building on recommendations from initial research, the team produced a prototype classroom and instructor scheduling process using ScheduleIT software. The prototype utilized real-world sample data to demonstrate capabilities in the Academy environment.

Final reports and presentations included live demonstrations of the configured software and recommendations to the Academy sponsors. The Academy found their collaboration with the OU Capstone Team to be a very rewarding experience. Academy Director Jim Doskow endorsed the Capstone process, stating, "Applying fresh student ideas and approaches to organizational challenges in a collaborative environment produces amazing results and is a great learning experience for all involved." Doskow continued, "The host organization receives the benefit of working with top students from university departments oriented toward the specific challenge for which solutions are sought. Meanwhile the students are exposed to real-world scenarios and organizational challenges that help them prepare for careers after graduation. The whole program is very easy to engage in, and the efficiency of student work and proposed solutions are extremely cost- and time-effective for the host organization."

Edward Drake (AMC-03) serves as Program Manager and POC for the MMAC Capstone Program. If you or your organization have any project ideas that you would like to present to a team of young, enthusiastic, and intelligent students, please contact Edward Drake at (405) 954-7327. Projects can be submitted year-round.

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