Capstone Program

What Are Capstones?

Capstones are design projects conducted in collaboration with industry partners during their senior year. Sponsored capstones allow faculty and industry professionals to guide students through the process of identifying practical opportunities and creating innovative real world solutions – including prototypes, new designs and processes. Faculty and students first define the project scope in collaboration with business professionals after which students engage in a hands-on approach as they solve open-ended problems supervised by a capstone coordinator and industry professionals.

Capstone teams consist of several students and may be multi-discipline; they are led by a faculty advisor who mentors the team, makes sure it is on track and has access to appropriate resources. Team members participate in guest lectures by industry and academic experts; learn and apply engineering design processes; meet deliverables and deadlines; and attend regular coordination meetings among team members, project sponsors and participating faculty.

Examples of Capstones

Here are a few examples of capstones that took place in recent years:

  • Predict power failures in power distribution systems through data mining and multivariate statistics
  • Develop sustainable structure designs that meet LEED Gold standards, with an emphasis on resiliency and sustainability; address sea-level rise adaptation and climate-change mitigation; meet the local community’s needs and adhere to city codes
  • Advance statistical inference tools and productivity measures to improve patient experience, decrease employee idle time and optimize appointment scheduling processes in health care environments
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