Lessons Learned from Monitoring Electricity Consumption in a Research Lab Through a Capstone Project Course


This paper describes the experiences and lessons learned by a team of Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate students during a capstone project-based course, which orients students to acquire knowledge on sensing technologies, data management, systems engineering, and visualization concepts in order to design and implement an energy monitoring system in a three room lab space. The team, mentored by faculty members, was responsible for the deployment of hardware, establishing communications, database design and implementation, and developing visualizations to communicate the relevant information based on the requirements of a client role-played by a faculty member. Lessons learned from this project include the importance of applying a systems engineering approach during the iterative scope definition and design processes, and the use of alternative communications, learning, and problem-solving methods in order to tackle challenges of larger scope and complexity than presented in classroom-setting coursework, while working on a team environment.

Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE)