Our mission is to match numerous multidisciplinary student teams with challenging engineering projects from Department of Defense and other U.S. Government organizations. These project sponsors provide domain expertise and advice, while university faculty supervisors help guide the teams and grade their work. The Capstone Marketplace provides technical analysis and solution development, facilitates academic outreach to students and universities, and helps students find projects best matched to their interests and needs.
Previous research has demonstrated that students who worked on multidisciplinary capstone projects have increased interest and learning in basic systems engineering concepts. They also develop better appreciation of the differences in methods and tools in different engineering disciplines.
1. Sponsors propose problems
The Capstone Marketplace is set up develop applied technology solutions for problems from the DOD and other government organizations. Potential sponsors should submit a short description of their problem, no more than two or three paragraphs, to the Marketplace using the form in the “Resources” section of this site. Forms can be sent to us through our web mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Graphics which depict the problems and concepts of interest are highly recommended. The Marketplace works with our government sponsors to turn these inputs into a body of “Research Topics” which are then posted on the Marketplace site.
2. Faculty Advisors and Students express interest in the Research Topics
Our “target” Capstone teams are those made up of senior undergraduate engineers and their Faculty Advisors; multidisciplinary teams are highly desirable, and team efforts can include students in different core studies such as business or operations research when appropriate. The Capstone Marketplace proposal process starts with Faculty Advisors and/or students submitting an “Expression Of Interest” (EOI) on a Research Topic. It’s not a requirement for a Faculty Advisor to have a team formed for an EOI to be considered.
3. Requests For Proposals and Capstone Awards
The Capstone Marketplace matches EOI’s with the body of open Research Topics and the projected Capstone funds available. The Marketplace responds to each EOI received, with a Request For Proposal if the Research Topic is open and resources are available. Basic requirements for Capstone Proposals are listed on the site. Two semester projects are preferred, with Capstone teams starting in the Fall semester of the teams’ final academic year. Proposals received will be evaluated and contract awards made. The Marketplace’s objective is to announce awards on or before the start of Fall semester.
4. Government Sponsors support teams
Sponsors should expect to interact with student teams at least once a month to review project status. Each student team will have a designated liaison to facilitate frequent communication with the sponsor, especially to address questions or advice that might block the team’s progress.
5. Faculty Advisors guide teams
Faculty meet with student teams as required to ensure adequate progress. The Capstone teams are encouraged to document their development activities and decisions made as the project matures. Each sponsor may request status and reporting according to their own schedules and /availability.
6. Students present results
In most cases student teams will present their status and results at two major reviews (at the end of each semester), and two interim reviews (at the mid-point of each semester). The final review, usually at the conclusion of the Spring semester, may include demonstrations, prototypes, and the presentation of the team’s technical data to be archived. Each project will be arranged to best meet the needs of the sponsors, students and faculty. For example, schools on the quarter system may need to align major reviews with their academic terms.
7. Sponsors provide feedback
After each review sponsors will provide feedback to student teams, which will be used to provide both educational experience for students and assessments of the team’s performance.