Announcements 02/25:

Capstone Marketplace Summit On Schedule for 2/28/2019 in Washington DC:
The System Engineering Research Center’s Capstone Marketplace “Summit” is being held 28 February 2019 at the “FHI 360” offices in Washington DC, on Connecticut Ave, near Dupont Circle.  There are a few seats still open for this Summit.  Please register with SERC on the web link listed below so we have an accurate head count.


Additional Capstone Summit Notes:
1.  Administration and Scheduling.
Capstone Marketplace Staff will be in the FHI 360 Conference Center, 8th floor, starting at 0800 on Thursday 28 February.  Attendees are welcome to come early to prepare briefing material and/or set up posters as applicable.  The Summit  starts at 0900.
2.  Focus of the Summit.
 The Capstone Summit is a forum to help SERC to assess the effectiveness of the Capstone Marketplace in providing research to its government customers, and enhancing educational opportunities to student and faculty participants.   We encourage faculty sponsors, administrators, students, government, and others to provide their perspectives on benefits and limitations of the Capstone Marketplace.   The agenda has been structured to hear both the “Voice of  Students and Academics” as well as the “Voice of the Customer”.  This feedback will be essential to SERC to improve future Capstone efforts.
3.  Presentations.
Presentations from students, academics, and customers are highly encouraged.  A number of schools have already expressed interest to present their work,  Due to time limitations, we ask that presentations be overviews, in order to facilitate discussion, we will limit each presentations to 10 minutes.  We ask that your presentations cover any limitations or “friction” which may be impeding the Capstone experience.  
At the moment, we are anticipating presentations from:
Virginia Tech
Oklahoma State University
Stevens Institute
Michigan Tech University
Missouri S&T
Various government sponsors
More are welcome!
4.  Posters
There will be opportunities for schools to show posters on their project work during the session breaks and during the lunch.  Please contact Ms. Canlas or Ms. Brito at the SERC to arrange for easels and other admin support which you may need
Updates on Contracts:

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 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