The capstone Senior Design Project Program is a hallmark of success for engineering seniors. In this one or two-semester course, senior students are mentored by faculty and industry engineers as they work to solve real-world engineering problems for company sponsors. Students learn about the principles of design, how ethics affect engineering decisions, how professionals communicate ideas and the day-to-day implications of intellectual property.
Each year, dozens of leading manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical and medical firms, consulting practices and utilities present the School of Engineering with design challenges or problems they are encountering in their business. For a modest fee, the companies suggest a particular problem and assign a technical representative from their company who will help guide and mentor the senior engineering students as they work to properly frame the problem and develop meaningful solutions.
The students research and analyze the problem, conceptualize alternate solutions, design and refine one device or method, construct a working prototype, and provide the sponsoring company with regular reports plus a working prototype. This true design experience allows the students to apply the technical skills they have acquired during their undergraduate years, and to stretch their abilities in analysis-based innovation and decision making.