Our mission is to match numerous multidisciplinary student teams with challenging engineering projects. Project sponsors provide domain expertise and advice, while faculty supervisors help guide the teams and grade their work. The capstone marketplace makes it easier for sponsors to reach out to potential students, and it helps students find projects best matched to their interests and needs.
Previous research has demonstrated that students who worked on multidisciplinary capstone projects had increased interest and learning in basic systems engineering concepts. They also developed a better appreciation of the differences in methods and tools of different engineering disciplines.
1. Sponsors propose problems
Potential sponsors should submit a short description of the problem, no more than two or three paragraphs, to the marketplace coordinator. Student teams will develop more precise requirements as part of their work. Please provide a picture or graphic to capture the concept of interest.
2. Students volunteer for projects
Students should complete and submit a project application form to the marketplace coordinator to show their interest and qualifications. Most students will be engineering students in their final year of undergraduate study, but others may join teams if they are qualified.
3. Faculty and sponsors approve teams
Faculty should complete and submit a project supervision form to the marketplace coordinator to show their willingness to advise and grade their students on the project. Once enough student applications have been received, faculty and sponsors will review applications and ensure that teams are viable before starting projects. Faculty and sponsors will also agree upon a rough outline of project schedule and deliverables.
4. 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 more frequent communication with the sponsor, especially questions or needed advice that might block progress of the team. Sponsors should reimburse teams for materials and supplies.
5. Faculty guide teams
We recommend that faculty meet with student teams at least once per week to ensure adequate progress. Weekly status reports also help reassure project sponsors that teams are on track.
6. Students present results
In most cases student teams will present their results at two major reviews (at the end of each academic term), and two interim reviews (at the mid-point of each academic term). Of course, each project will need to determine how best to 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 and faculty provide feedback
After each review sponsors and faculty will provide feedback to student teams.