Capstone Design Project

The fourth year Capstone design project is an integral and important part of the undergraduate program in Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design. The Faculty has a 25-year history in administering and evaluating fourth year Capstone projects. In fact, Carleton was the first university in Canada to adopt team-style projects.

These major design projects are an excellent opportunity for fourth year students to develop professional-level experience by applying, honing, integrating and extending previously acquired knowledge and skills. Capstone projects foster an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for real world problem solving, and serve as an opportunity to explore new ideas which require ongoing commitment, critical thinking and improvisational skill.

The defining element of Capstone projects are their real-world application, and many projects focus on serving the community as a whole.

An interdisciplinary Capstone success story

The Northern Nomad is a net-zero energy tiny house born from the collaborative efforts of Carleton architecture and engineering students. Under the supervision of Professor Scott Bucking , cross-appointed in both the Department of Civil Engineering and Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, the conceptualization of the project began as a fourth-year capstone project. With the generous support of sponsors, students from the Faculty of Engineering and Design, each with their own focuses and skills, have made the project a reality.

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Crash Test Dummy and Launch System

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Robotic Hand with Remote Control and Video Feedback

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Integrated Concussion Assessment System (I-CAS)

Interior view of the Carleton University Simulator Project flight simulator

Carleton University Simulator Project (CUSP)

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LTE-Controlled Drone

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A Net-Zero Energy Tiny House

Industry partners help shape and support Capstone design projects through mentorship of student teams, submitting projects and providing financial support, while our alumni have donated significantly to help ensure students have access to critical resources.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can support the Faculty of Engineering and Design’s Capstone Projects, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

User Experience Research

Capstone projects.

The User Experience (UX) Research Capstone project presents students with an opportunity to demonstrate their competence through an individual project. Students propose, plan, and conduct ethnographic research that delivers actionable insights to stakeholders in a professional, ethical, and timely manner.

Highlights from recent capstones

Yung Thuy-Dung Stiffler

Yung Thuy-Dung Stiffler

For my capstone, I researched employee leave programs at two state agencies. I identified features of leave programs that were valued by employees, and how the agencies differed in the options they offered. I created a grid comparing leave programs at these agencies with 14 additional organizations to get a broader perspective. Next, I completed in-depth interviews with 12 employees, both professional and classified, as well as the human resource directors at both agencies. To generalize, I surveyed 36 additional employees. Besides identifying key features of leave programs desired by employees, I found that greater flexibility leads to higher motivation and higher retention. Work-day mood maps show the motivation of staff with rigid schedules declines after the lunch hour, and half are looking for new employment opportunities. In contrast, the motivation of professionals with flexible schedules remains high, and 75% plan to stay in their current job. My project will impact policies at both local agencies. Special Update: Yung’s capstone project was selected as a “lightning talk” for the Boise State Spring 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase, view it here .

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Matt Mueller (UX-Pro): My project focused on a small New York bakery where sales have been trending down and profits have been a challenge. My stakeholders are unsure where their shoppers have gone, or why? My goal was to determine why sales were falling and develop strategies to revive them. I created a screener to identify useful participants and recruited shoppers for in-store contextual interviews. I documented the customer journey of shoppers using video. I then developed a shopper survey to provide broader quantitative data.  Based on these methods, I developed the insights contrasting the “best bakery experience ever” that shoppers had experienced with their impressions and experience at the store. Shoppers emphasized the sensory qualities of their ideal experience and the unplanned nature of their bakery purchases. They reported being drawn to bakeries by the fresh products and pleasant smells. In contrast, they found the store clean but also sterile, and they had the impression that many items were not made fresh in the store. The bakery did not stimulate their senses and did not motivate impulse purchases. The actual baking was hidden in the back out of customer view. To deliver these insights to my stakeholders I created customer journey maps and shared interview videos. I suggested pushing more baking activity into view of the customers; baking fresh during high volume periods to fill the air with the pleasant smell of fresh baked goods, using labels that emphasized the hand-crafted products, and providing samples.

Ashley Farmer

Ashley Farmer

(UX-Pro): For my capstone, I worked with my employer on a product that was not meeting our expectations for customer satisfaction. We were unable to fully understand what was happening based on quantitative data analysis. I used ethnography to gather qualitative data from different customer interaction channels to see if these methods could help provide more context and define the point in the customer experience where the failure occurred. While many reasons can be cited, and most situations are unique, qualitative ethnography identified subtle nuances in the customer journey that helped us develop new insights. The most enjoyable part of this project was being immersed in the process and applying ethnographic methods to better understand the gaps in the quantitative data.

Where Are Our Alumni Now?

Check out our Alumni Spotlight to see what some of our alumni are up to since completing the User Experience Research Certificate Program.

Mobile-Controlled Plotter

Hardware prototyping.

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Capstone Design Project

As part of a 3-month capstone design project, I worked with a team to develop a vector graphics plotter. Plotters were common for large-scale drafting through the 1980s, and there is also a thriving community of artists (#plottertwitter) who use them for creative purposes . We wanted to design a system that integrated the affordances of the plotter with modern mobile devices and image processing techniques.

The system comprised three parts:

I was responsible for construction of the physical system, as well as high-level integration and project planning. Starting from an existing, open-source design for a 3D plotter, I replaced as many parts as possible with alternatives that could be laser-cut or 3D-printed, to maximize the ability of makers to recreate or modify the design using standard tools. This was a great opportunity to learn about CAD tools like Solidworks, and methods for rapid prototyping and fabrication.

This project was an extraordinary amount of fun. Though the device we built was not particularly novel, it was exciting to take on and coordinate a project with so many separate subsystems, and to finally have it work all the way from input image to output drawing.

Our team competed in a “Dragon’s Den” style pitch competition with executives from Orbis Investment Management , where we won second place (and a $1000 prize) for our design and associated business model.

Contributions: Concept, Implementation (Mechanical Design), Report Writing. I completed this project with four other (extremely talented) students, to whom I owe a great deal: Behzad Abghari, Esther Roorda, Alan Daniels and Pak Ki Lam.

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Project Learning in Capstone Design

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Project Learning in Capstone Design

Recall The Team Skills 1. Analyzing the Problem (with 5 steps) 1.Gain agreement on the problem definition. 2.Understand the root causes 3.Identify the.

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Senior Capstone Design Project Learning. What is Project Learning? What is…? How to Make…?

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3.05 Employee Marketing-information to develop a marketing plan

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Project Learning. Importance of Project Learning Opportunity to influence design Opportunity to do something innovative Cost of change.

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Inspection Methods. Inspection methods Heuristic evaluation Guidelines review Consistency inspections Standards inspections Features inspection Cognitive.

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Starting a project 1 Starting a Project Where do we now start? Where are we going? Will we know when we arrive?

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© 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Pearson Addison-Wesley 1 Context of Software Product Design.

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By the end of this chapter, you should:  Understand the properties of an engineering requirement and know how to develop well-formed requirements that.

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CIS 321—IS Analysis & Design Chapter 4: Analysis— Investigating System Requirements.

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Demystifying the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge Central Iowa IIBA Chapter December 7, 2005.

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Requirements Engineering ments_analysis.

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Business Analysis. Business Analysis Concepts Enterprise Analysis ► Identify business opportunities ► Understand the business strategy ► Identify Business.

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What is project management?

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Stephen Moir, Director, Moir Group. Career Review & Planning Evaluation of Skills/Competencies Work Values Fit Work/Life Balance Career Plan Immediate.

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Workshop 4: Developing a one page business case

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Product Manager 101: with What Does A Product Manager Actually Do?

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Getting started with ideas…

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3.05 B – SWOT Analysis Analyze This!.

About project

© 2023 Inc. All rights reserved.

Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science

Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering (MIAE)

What is the Capstone Engineering Design project?

The Capstone Engineering Design project is a supervised design, simulation or experimental project involving the definition of a design problem, carrying out the research and design, and demonstrating results. Capstone provides students the opportunity to demonstrate good judgment, challenge and enhance their ability to solve open-ended design problems, and improve team work skills. Solving real industrial problems is encouraged and is facilitated by course coordinators and project supervisors.

Projects, Proposals and Capstone Teams

Students have the opportunity to submit their own project proposals in the summer prior to taking Capstone as well as in the first week of classes. Once the majority of students are registered for the course, the course co-ordinator(s) will send detailed information, by e-mail, explaining how and when you are expected to submit your proposal. (Please note: Any project proposal submitted with team members who are not officially registered in the course will not be reviewed and will be “rejected” immediately. Only a limited number and only excellent student proposed projects will be selected.)

Alternately, students who do not wish to make a proposal can select from a list of pre-approved projects available at the beginning of the Fall term. Based on this selection, the course co-ordinator(s) will form your Capstone team.

Capstone Design Awards

Every year, students in Mechanical and Industrial engineering compete to win various awards given by the department. These awards include the Richard Cheng Design Award for mechanical engineering students, along with awards from the department given to selected teams in both mechanical and industrial engineering.

The awards are given based on the originality and functionality of a working prototype, as well as the excellence of presentations and reports. The Richard Cheng Design Award also considers the overall academic achievement of each individual student in the team.

Highlights from 2020-2021

How do i register for capstone.

On-line registration will be open on June 1, after the annual assessment of GPA is performed by the Registrar’s Office. For those taking prerequisite courses in either summer term, you can register once the grades are available.

If you have questions or experience difficulty registering, please contact your Undergraduate Program Assistant .

NOTE: Due to the work load associated with Capstone and the manufacturing schedule, we strongly advise that students do not work full-time while enrolled in Capstone. Additionally, Co-op students cannot be approved to take Capstone while undertaking a work-term.

Capstone coordinators

Mechanical Engineering Dr. Ashok Kaushal

Industrial Engineering Dr. Mingyuan Chen

Aerospace Engineering Dr. Jonathan Liscouet

Multi-Disciplinary Project Dr. Ali Akgunduz

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sewerbot - robot in a tunnel

Capstone Design is the culmination of the undergraduate student experience, creating a blueprint for innovation in engineering design.

Supported by numerous awards , Capstone Design provides Waterloo Engineering students with the unique opportunity to conceptualize and design a project related to their chosen discipline.

A requirement for completion of their degrees, Capstone Design challenges students teams to push their own boundaries, and apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and on co-op work terms.  It reinforces the concepts of teamwork, project management, research and development. 

Ground-breaking ideas leading to the creation of Athos , BufferBox , Intellijoint HIP , Myo armband and the Pebble smartwatch had their geneses in Capstone Design. 

Please check out the  2020 project abstracts  and  photos from previous events .

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Capstone Design Company Sponsors and Projects

2017 TE Capstone Company Sponsors and Projects



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  4. Capstone Design Projects Virtually Unveiled

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  5. Capstone design project acts a cap for the engineering curriculum

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  6. Capstone Project Stage 1

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  1. Next Education Workforce

  2. Final Video CE 421

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  1. Capstone Design Projects

    Capstone Design Projects are done in fourth year and provide an opportunity for students to amalgamate all they have learned in their undergraduate degree and apply it to design a project that interests and inspires them

  2. Capstone Projects

    The User Experience (UX) Research Capstone project presents students with an opportunity to demonstrate their competence through an individual project

  3. Capstone Design Project

    As part of a 3-month capstone design project, I worked with a team to develop a vector graphics plotter. Plotters were common for large-scale drafting through the 1980s, and there is also a thriving community of

  4. Project Learning in Capstone Design

    Project Learning is part of the Process Project Learning Roadmap Conceptual Design / Prototyping Detailed Design Fabrication Validation Product

  5. Capstone Engineering Design project

    The Capstone Engineering Design project is a supervised design, simulation or experimental project involving the definition of a design problem, carrying out the research and design, and demonstrating results

  6. Communication Design Capstone Project

    Critically reflect on individual design strengths, professional skills and attributes, and formative feedback to deliver a design project that exhibits innovative thinking and a high standard of creative practice

  7. Interdisciplinary Capstone Design Projects

    Capstone Design Company Sponsors and Projects. B BRAUN: Disposable Containment Device (Teams 1 and 2). DAEWOO ELECTRONICS: Mini Drum: 3rd Generation (Teams 1 and 2)