College of Engineering seniors participate in a capstone design experience that incorporates theoretical and experimental concepts in the planning, design, analysis, construction, and testing of integrated, realistic engineering systems. The senior design course sequence requires students to synthesize the knowledge gained in previous courses to develop an engineering solution that integrates the technical, ethical, legal, societal, multicultural, economic, financial, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the project.
Students in each department work as part of a multidisciplinary team. Projects within the mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering fields require the planning, design, analysis, construction, and testing of an electro-mechanical engineering system. Civil engineering projects require the planning, design, and analysis of systems that include major elements from the sub-disciplines of civil engineering (environmental, geotechnical, structures, transportation, and water resources) and culminate in a comprehensive set of plans.
While the full responsibility for project completion rests with the student, each design project is conducted under the supervision of faculty advisers and often with the advice of a practicing professional or representative of a sponsoring organization.
As the culminating experience of four years of professional training, the senior design sequence emphasizes the demonstration of critical professional skills such as:
• Teamwork: working with all project stakeholders to develop appropriate engineering solutions.
• Leadership: organizing, planning, and managing all aspects of the project.
• Communication: presenting solutions both orally and written to multiple audiences.
The Donald V. Fites Engineering Innovation Center provides a professional environment for seniors to collaborate on their capstone design projects. The Fites Center includes more than 4,500 square feet dedicated to senior design, including individual work stations with lockable storage, reference libraries, two conference rooms, and additional team work areas.Some projects are suggested and sponsored by businesses, industries, consulting firms, and government agencies. Other project topics originate from the special interests of students and College of Engineering faculty. The following pages provide a representative list of the College of Engineering's senior design projects from recent years. Faculty research interests and acknowledgment of sponsors and research organizations are indicated.