New Announcements 04/15:

For all Capstone student teams, Faculty Advisors, and government “customers”

As the 2018-2019 Academic Year draws to a close, it’s most important that all Capstone teams submit the following to the Capstone Marketplace for contract closeout and archiving (email to

  1. All deliverables as stated in Capstone contracts—this includes
    1. Documents and presentations made in all design reviews
    2. Customer evaluations and comments
    3. Records of any final demonstrations or tests
    4. Statements regarding disposition of prototypes, test equipment, Government Furnished Equipment, or other residual material, software, etc. from Capstone efforts.
  1. Even if student teams have submitted or presented Capstone Materials to their government contacts, copies of these deliverables must be received at the Capstone Marketplace email account.

Although government contacts act as Subject Matter Experts and technical advisors, the Capstone Marketplace is the only place that invoices can be reconciled with submitted deliverables and expenses paid.



Updates for Next Year (Fall 2019):

The Capstone Marketplace is planning for Academic Year 2019.  We are contacting other government organizations who have not been part of this year’s Capstone efforts.  We also expect that Research Topics which did not get pursued this year will “roll over” into the next academic year.  We will also consider “unsolicited” Research ideas and proposals from Academia which, if accepted by a government sponsor, will become “sole source”  2019 Capstone projects.  These topics will be discussed at the upcoming Marketplace Summit.

Capstone Marketplace member requests from unverified email domains:  

We are still receiving a number of requests for Capstone access from unverified email accounts.  We are refusing Capstone accounts for any site visitors who contact us without an “.edu”, “mil”, “gov”, or other U.S. academic or official email address.   Although many of these requests appear valid, we will only set up an account through a university email server or other government site.   If you don’t have these accounts, please send us email justification at   We also offer marketplace participation from industry members on a case by case basis.

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 is a resource which 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 “SME” “customers”.   SERC staff will provide technical, business, and other management references and resources as needed.


SERC’s Capstone Marketplace has a list of “2018-2019 Research Topics”.  Technical problems, capability gaps, and research interests have been collected from DOD military operators and government research organizations.  Government funds are available for student teams willing to tackle these research topics as capstone design projects.  SERC has selected its Capstone Marketplace Research Topics so that senior students will:

  • Pursue subjects and problems of interest,
  • Experience  limited system engineering techniques
  • Find approaches and solutions of value to their government sponsors.

These sponsors, operational units and government research staff,  will work directly with students.  The web document, “SERC Capstone Marketplace Objectives” lists additional details on SERC’s initiative.

Academic institutions intending to pursue SERC Capstone Marketplace awards are encouraged to submit an initial “Expression of Interest” (EOI) to SERC.  A template is on the Capstone Marketplace website.   After SERC’s receipt of an EOI, SERC may 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 2018.   SERC intends to assign its full set of 2018-2019 Research Topics to university teams by late September 2018.  Additional details on SERC’s project award and contracting process are on the website.


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. SERC will engage with universities in a two-step process, starting with Expressions of Interest (EOI) in the research topics posted on the website.   Requests For Proposals will follow submission of the EOI to universities this summer.  Expect rolling awards through mid September.
      1. SERC Capstone awards will be Firm Fixed Price contracts. Period of performance will generally be two academic semesters, although single semester efforts will also be considered.
      2. Capstone project awards will nominally be up to $5,000. Funds up to $10,000 may be awarded with exceptional justification.  Restrictions on the use of SERC funds are listed on the Capstone Marketplace website.
      3. Selected student teams will be expected to perform similar to a small “business”, conducting R&D activities, managing their technical performance, schedule, and costs. Teams will provide status to government officials as their “customers”, who will assist in evaluating team performance.   SERC’s Capstone Marketplace Objectives, on the website, outlines SERC’s expectations for student team activities.


1.  Questions may be directed to:

2.  The “General Topics and Discussion” area on the website Homepage may also be used for Q&A

Capstone Marketplace Managers:

Michael DeLorme           

Bill Shepherd