Updates 08/17:

Stevens Institute’s network is up.   We expect to send out Requests For Proposal from the Capstone Marketplace website starting  next week.  


The Marketplace has posted its new writeups from government organizations for Academic Year 2019-2020.  We have several additional project topics in preparation which have not been posted, we are holding these until government Subject Matter Experts can be identified for the student teams.  We are also rolling over several Research Topics from last year.  Schools who were awarded contracts on these rollovers have been notified that new RFP’s are coming from SERC for continuation efforts.  

Please send us your “Expressions Of Interest” without delay to start the proposal and award process.   We have some EOI’s in hand, but we expect to receive numerous additional EOI’s in the next week as students return to campus and classes start.   Our objective with the Marketplace is to match schools with as many different Research Topics as possible, and to include many different universities in the Marketplace. 

Please stay current with the Marketplace Homepage, and the Research Topic lists.  We will highlight open Topics which have not been spoken for, and we will also indicate Topics which become fully subscribed, and for which additional proposals will not be requested.  Please stay tuned..    


Some Minor Process Changes

The Proposal Preparation formats this year  have had minor changes.  See the “Resources” tab.  SERC’s contract documentation  through Stevens Institute is greatly simplified from last year.

We have also updated the Project Plan Outline which will be a contract  deliverable as each project team starts its interactions with government customers.  We have included a requirement in the Plan for a Quad Chart which is common in many government projects.  Please see the suggested formats on the website.   Please see the document below for additional information on recent changes to the Capstone Marketplace process:

Comments on Capstone activities for the upcoming Academic Year  


About the Capstone Marketplace


The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) is a Department of Defense (DoD) University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) at Stevens Institute of Technology; the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for System Engineering (ODASD/SE) sponsors SERC’s activities.  SERC is chartered to strengthen academic research in system engineering, addressing problems of interest to DOD.   A component of SERC’s effort is the “Capstone Marketplace”, which connects DOD and other government organizations with undergraduate academic teams, to work on senior year, “capstone” design projects.   The Capstone Marketplace provides student design teams research topics, contact with government Subject Matter Experts, and research funding for projects. University capstone teams are expected to operate like small industry teams, performing research and development for government “Subject Matter Expert” customers.   SERC staff provides technical, business, and other management references and resources to the teams.


The Capstone Marketplace has a list of “2019-2020 Research Topics”.  These research interests have been collected from DOD military operators and government research organizations.  All of this year’s topics are aligned with organizational priorities and gaps in their R&D processes.  SERC has selected Capstone Research Topics such that:

  • Topics have academic value for students
  • Students will be exposed to challenging problems 
  • Students will have the opportunity to apply system engineering techniques to their development work
  • Approaches and solutions will likely be valuable to government sponsors

Sponsors in the operational units and government research staffs,  will work directly with students.  The web document, “SERC Capstone Marketplace Objectives”  lists additional details on SERC’s concepts for small team developments and applied system engineering  for students. 

Academic institutions intending to pursue SERC Capstone Marketplace awards are encouraged to submit an initial “Expression of Interest” (EOI) to SERC as soon as possible.   A template on the Capstone Marketplace website  can be transmitted directly to the Marketplace.   After receipt of an EOI, SERC will send a Request For Proposal (RFP) to the university.    Proposals should follow formats,  instructions, and schedules provided in the “Project Proposal Instructions” detailed on the website. Proposals will be evaluated and awards announced as rapidly as possible starting August 2019.   SERC intends to assign its full set of 2019-2020 Research Topics to university teams by late September 2019.  Additional details on SERC’s project award and contracting processes are on the website–see documents in the “Resources” sections.


Proposals may now be accepted from non-SERC universities, as well as from SERC consortium members.  SERC may now award Capstone Marketplace Contracts to any U.S. educational institution, with ABET accreditation, conducting undergraduate engineering design projects.


  1. SERC can now award Capstone Marketplace Research Topics to any US university with an ABET accredited engineering program. Membership in the SERC Consortium is not required.
  2. Graduate students are permitted to participate in Capstone teams.  See the details on this in Comments on Capstone Activities for the upcoming Academic Year
  3. Universities are encouraged to submit their own ideas for new Research Topics.  For 2019-2020, SERC has had inputs from several schools on project topics.  Several of these have been endorsed by government customers, and will be pursued as Marketplace projects.  In the future, SERC intends for the Marketplace to be a true “marketplace” where universities can attract Capstone and government interest in their research ideas with a minimum of process.   See the document Academic Inputs for Capstone-Marketplace Research Topics for more information.  


Capstone Marketplace Managers:

Michael DeLorme                    mdelorme@stevens.edu 

Bill Shepherd                           wshephe1@stevens.edu