Download: What is the Senior Design Program?
Students apply the engineering skills they have acquired: the principles of design, how ethics affect engineering decisions, how professionals communicate ideas and the day-to-day implications of intellectual property.
They begin by researching the problem, brainstorming a range of solutions, and traveling to the sponsor’s site to learn more about the sponsor and the project.
As their projects take form, student teams maintain contact with their sponsor mentors and faculty mentors, hold meetings, write formal documentation, and make presentations on their work. Throughout the project, each team synthesizes design know-how, judgment, technical skills, analysis, creativity and innovation to design, optimize and manufacture a prototype model, or to perform product simulations.
Students submit written reports at intervals throughout the two-semester project timeline, and present oral presentations at the project’s conclusion.
Reports may become the sole property of the sponsor and be excluded from public presentations. Historically, about 33% of completed projects are used in company products or processes.
Type of Senior Design projects
The following are samples of Senior Design projects that students can perform while tackling a technical challenge or exploring a new design or novel idea:
- Research and analyze the problem.
- Conceptualize new or alternate solutions.
- Design or refine a device or method.
- Construct a working prototype.
- Synthesize design know-how.
- Optimize and manufacture a prototype model,
- Perform product simulations.
Skills students apply during a Senior Design project:
- Creativity to design.
- Analyze problem and develop a problem statement.
- Brainstorm potential solutions.
- Research the product/process.
- Identify the analytical and experimental elements of their approach.
- Design analysis.
- Technical skills.
- Determine the best solution within the project constraints.
- Use of leading CAD and analysis software.
- Analysis-based innovation and decision making.
- Make oral presentations.
- Conduct a peer design review.
- Communication with industry advisor, a faculty advisor, and team members.
- Teamwork, often times in interdisciplinary teams.
- Maintain contact with their industrial and faculty mentors.
- Write a formal report at the end of each semester.
- Demonstrate their final solution at a May Demonstration Day.