• Senior Capstone Projects Summary for the 2012-13 Academic Year

Orange Team

Ross Beighley, Tyler Heck Cell Stimulus and Response Simulation System: Building a system to automate the introduction of chemicals into neuron cells to aid researchers in identifying cellular response mechanisms.

Yellow Team

Winners of the annual Ricci prize explain the story behind their project, which seeks to build an improved ophthalmological device for the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Thomas Cahill Steinway Piano Signal Distribution : Designing the circuitry and software to process electronic piano keyboard signals faster than the human perception threshold to eliminate the noticeable musical delay.

Burgundy Team

Ronald Hong, Daniel Kotin Personalization and Improvement of Home Automation : Dreating a wireless sensor network to detect the presence of people to facilitate automation and efficiency of home energy usage and appliances.

Infrared Team

Brennon Costello, Joshua Elliott Digital Control of 3D Metal Prototyping : Developing and Designing a three dimensional positioning system and thermal control for rapid prototyping of metal objects.

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School of Engineering

Computer science and engineering department, senior design projects.

CSE Senior Design Course Overview

Computer Science & Engineering Senior Design Project is a two-semester course sequence in which the students, working in teams, provide solutions to real life problems. Given a problem statement, students propose, design, develop, and document a solution. The students benefit most when they work on a problem that actually arises in a real corporate setting. They interact with real management and engineering staff, and get experience in which they integrate skills and knowledge acquired from previous courses. The department considers this an important component of the curriculum.

CSE4939W and CSE4940 form the basis for the year long Computer Science & Engineering Design sequence and capstone project required for all CSE and CS majors. Each project is staffed by a team of 3-6 students working under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Projects will employ either waterfall or agile design methodologies and will make use of modern technologies spanning database, real-time operating systems, simulations, optimization, and computer graphics to build software that runs on mobile devices (e.g., iOS, Android), laptops, desktops or client-server architectures via web-based applications.

Students are expected to learn team management and project design skills and demonstrate their abilities with software authoring. They experience the realities associated with real-life software design and development. Successful teams design, build and deploy software and documentation that is at least of beta-level quality by the completion of the second semester.

In planning for the senior design projects, the department publishes towards the end of the summer preceding the senior design year the descriptions of available projects. The student teams are able to submit their preferences, including the preference to pursue their own project. The department then assigns projects to teams using an algorithm that maximizes communal and curricular good. It is normally the case that some preferences cannot be satisfied, and there is no guarantee that the team’s own project will be assigned to it. Consequently it is important that each team submits a meaningful list of preferences (otherwise the assignment is likely to be arbitrary).

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Needs Identification for Engineering Capstone Design Projects

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Grant recipients:

Derek Wright, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Chris Rennick, Engineering Ideas Clinic; Ada Hurst, Management Sciences 

(Project timeline: May 1, 2019 - April 30, 2020)


All students in the Faculty of Engineering participate in a capstone design project in their fourth year. The quality of the capstone project largely depends on identifying a suitable real need or problem to address in the design. Unfortunately, the capstone project is often the first time students are tasked with identifying a need on their own in the context of a design problem, and many struggle with needs identification. Often, students take a solution-first approach, and then “reverse engineer” a need to justify course requirements. This results in weak solutions and incomplete exposure to the full design process. This project seeks to intervene with students before their capstone design project by training them in needs identification. The LITE grant would fund expertise in assessing the efficacy of such an intervention.

Questions Investigated

The overall goal of the teaching enhancement project was to improve needs identification competencies in the engineering graduates. The strategy for achieving this goal was to provide an intervention consisting of three in-class sessions and one field experience to select third-year course sections.

The research completed aimed to determine whether needs identification competencies improved in the students subjected to the intervention versus those students who were not (effectively acting as controls). The research questions asked were: 1. How do students identify, select, and justify their capstone design project problem statement, and are there structural differences in how students who received the intervention perform this step, versus other students?

2. Were the interventions helpful in teaching students about needs identification?

These questions were explored using responses to a survey study.

The in-class interventions were conducted on campus for three third-year engineering classes (MTE, ME, and ECE) from different disciplines during Winter 2019. They proceeded as follows:

1. All groups (MTE, ME, ECE) received a lecture on identifying a good problem. The session introduced structured ways of thinking about project identification.

2. All groups (MTE, ME, ECE) also participated in a field experience to the fourth-year capstone symposia, intended to provide the third-year students with an opportunity to practice applying the need finding strategies by looking critically at the work of their older peers in the program.

3. Two classes (MTE, ME) received an additional workshop on problem finding.

4. One class (MTE) was required to write a reflection on the field experience.

From the survey data we learned that the most popular method for need finding, regardless if the students received any interventions, was through experience. Students were predominantly inspired by personal accounts and interactions, identified a problem, and sought to design a solution. Proportionally more students who received the intervention used research and brainstorming methods to aid in their need finding processes. This suggests that the interventions may have succeeded in encouraging students to use these as recommended methods for conducting proper need finding.

The data also shows a tendency for students in the intervention group to form their capstone teams earlier but choose their topics later. From this, we infer that the interventions in the 3B term may have encouraged students to begin thinking about their capstone project earlier. The interventions may have also inspired a longer need finding process, thus delaying the selection of the final project topic.

After collecting data on the perceived helpfulness of the interventions, we can conclude that overall, the interventions were moderately helpful. Students identified the interventions as opportunities where they learned about proper need finding, practiced identifying good problems at the symposium, and encouraged them to begin thinking about their own projects. The most helpful intervention was the visit to the capstone symposium.

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Senior capstone design projects in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Course objectives:.

The goal of the capstone design course is for students to apply their full engineering and general engineering education to a new and important problem which is amenable to an engineering solution and present their results. The course will develop and refine students’ abilities in this context by planning and organizing a term project, evaluating design alternatives with supporting engineering analysis, applying appropriate engineering standards, assessing and optimizing designs from the customer perspective, and presenting final designs.

Course Topics :

Integrative Experience:

Engineering solutions are almost always created in response to some societal need. Understanding the need is central to success in engineering design and an engineer must understand the economic, social, political, sustainability and environmental contexts in which the need arises. Therefore, as engineering students embark on the problem identification phase of engineering design they have the opportunity to reflect and draw on the knowledge they have gained through their General Education courses and then integrate this with the engineering knowledge they have gained in their major. More specifically, by employing the broad knowledge they gain from experiences in economics, psychology, sociology and history, students are better equipped to understand how an engineering solution will be accepted and will address societal needs. This kind of reflection goes beyond understanding in the separate disciplines by considering, for example, how economic, safety and environmental issues compete and complement each other and by observing how their own perspectives on these issues have evolved.

Project Overview:

Mechanical Engineering:  The objective is to identify a design need, develop engineering specifications for the product, and design, develop and fabricate hardware related to your design project.

Industrial Engineering:  The objectives are to (1) design, develop, implement, and/or improve an integrated system or systems that include people, materials, information, equipment and energy and (2) to use appropriate analytical, computational, and experimental practices in the context of an integrated system; demonstrating skills and knowledge indicative of a capstone project.

This means that the project should require a higher-level of engineering knowledge and skills than found in sophomore and junior-level design classes. Thus, the project must involve significant use of engineering tools and standards, the results of which are used to inform decisions. There are several project formats as part of the course.

calendar for MIE projects

Project Requirements.  This team-based capstone project must also meet several requirements. These include the following:

[1] This is an  ABET  ( A ccreditation  B oard for  E ngineering and  T echnology) requirement.

[2] This is an  ABET  ( A ccreditation  B oard for  E ngineering and  T echnology) requirement.

This is not intended to be an inclusive list. You are free to propose design project ideas based on your interests and/or interactions with industry and other UMass departments.

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The Ohio State University College of Engineering

Capstone Projects

The Ohio State University is a leader in creating substantive industry experiences for undergraduate engineering students.

2019 capstone showcase

Our engineering disciplines have a rich history of using projects developed and sponsored by industry and non-profit organizations for student capstone design courses. Each of our 12 departments coordinate capstone projects, with the Department of Engineering Education facilitating multidisciplinary capstone projects that involve students from several departments as well as those from the Colleges of Business, Medicine, Nursing and more.


An Ohio State engineering education features a multitude of real-world, hands-on experiences. We look to companies and non-profit organizations to help us create and deliver the penultimate applied research experience. 

Sponsors contribute the problem or idea, participate in design reviews, provide information on previous efforts and contribute domain-specific knowledge.

Sponsor Benefits

Student Benefits

Bob Rhoads Multidisciplinary Capstone Director Department of Engineering Education [email protected]   614-292-9340


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Seniors go head-to-head with their capstone projects

Students taking part in this year’s Senior Design Capstone Contest vied for a share of $3,500 in prizes

Many schools require senior capstones — multidisciplinary projects that showcase the problem-solving abilities and critical-thinking skills that students have developed over the preceding years, as well as their research prowess, proficiency in planning, and willingness to engage in teamwork.

At Tandon, however, capstone projects can be much more than a chance to prove your ability or earn a good grade: they can actually win you cash prizes.

Students who took part in this year’s Senior Design Capstone Contest on May 7 vied for a share of $3,500 in prizes in a variety of categories. The judges — Uriel Eisen, manager of Tandon’s Prototyping Space; Joann Halpern, director of the Hasso Plattner Institute; VR Americas co-founder and CEO Rosario B. Casas, and Lou Auguste, founder and CEO of AlexaPath — were hard-pressed to decide, but after they finished deliberating, the victors included:

Team Smart Mirror (Md Raz and Mohammed Fahim) Highest Entrepreneurial Potential ($1,000 prize)

The Smart Mirror keeps you prepared, informed, and looking your best and helps you keep your goals, deadlines, and important dates at a glance on your way out the door.

Team Hugo (Htoo Min, Victoria Sykora-Lovaas, Joe Kracz, and Ujjwal Singhania) Best Design ($1,000 prize)

Hugo is an academic course management platform designed to decrease the workload on faculty by reducing the number of emails received from students. At the core of the platform is an artificial intelligence-fueled chatbot that allows students to ask questions ranging from logistical (where is my class?) to course-related (what is AI?).

Team U Trade Locker (Brian Boyle, Enson Chen, and Andy Huang) Greatest Social Impact ($1,000 prize)

Convenience . . . delivered. The product provides a combined hardware and software solution for the safe and secure exchange of goods.

Team AERIOUS (Fangni Zeng, William Hsu, Elaine Li, Terry Tong, Benson Li, Joey Wong) Students’ Choice ($500 prize)

The AERIOUS project is an all-electric aircraft designed and modeled after commercial aircraft today. Built to carry passengers and payload within the requirements of university-level SAE competitions (battery performance, wingspan length, and penalties for empty passenger seating, for example), the project challenged its developers’ knowledge of aircraft design as well their ability to construct an effective, high-performing aircraft.

“This year we had a wonderful mix of project topics,” Industry Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Mike Knox , who helped organize the competition, said. “Tandon students are taught to think creatively about real-world issues and are encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, and this competition proved the benefits of that approach.”

“Tandon’s Institute for Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (IIIE) , its Convergence of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Institute , Design Lab and the Tandon Undergraduate Student Council were all instrumental is sponsoring this year’s competition,” said Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Jin Kim Montclare , who heads the CIE’s efforts. “Our students benefit greatly from working in an atmosphere in which so many resources are at their disposal, helping them to progress from ideation to prototype and even beyond, and their hard work really paid off!”

More to Read

Tandon leads the future of manufacturing, thz-lab at nyu wireless gets a group of eager visitors, capping off the year with tandon’s convergence of innovation and entrepreneurship institute.

Capstone Project Topics & Free Sample Ideas

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