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Engineering Capstone Designs

The Engineering Capstone Design program spans over two semesters (10 months). The whole process and timeline is illustrated in the chart below and includes the following milestones:

AGILE development of capstone workflow

  1. Project proposal: In summer, call for project proposals are sent to potential industry sponsors, who are requested to submit their project ideas by the end of August.
  2. Project selection: In early September, the capstone coordinator of each engineering program should evaluate the proposals and select a set of candidate projects that are appropriate for students in that program.
  3. Bid for projects: Once candidate projects are selected, they are open to students, who can then read the detail of each proposal and bid for projects they would like to work on.
  4. Team formation: By mid-September, student teams are formed based on their common interests in a project as shown in their bids. Each team consists of three or four students. Once a student team is formed, their project is also fixed. To each team, the capstone coordinator also assigns one faculty advisor and two faculty co-advisors. The person who has proposed the project will serve, or designate his/her colleague to serve, as the industry mentor for the student team.
  5. Project progress review I: In mid-October, each student team submits their phase-I project report for review, and gives a technical presentation to a 3-person evaluation committee (consisting of faculty advisor and co-advisors).
  6. Project progress review II: In mid-December, each team submits their phase-II project report, and gives a technical presentation to their faculty evaluation committee.
  7. Project progress review III: In late February, each team submits their phase-III project report, and gives a technical presentation to their faculty evaluation committee.
  8. Project progress review IV: In late-April, each team submits their complete project report, and gives the last technical presentation to their faculty committee.
  9. Senior design conference: In late-April, each team gives a presentation to public with the audience including the industry mentor, their relatives and friends, and junior students who are encouraged to attend and envision what they are expected to do so that they can plan ahead by identifying potential project opportunities in their summer internships.
  10. Project delivery: In early May, each team should deliver their project report and the final product or prototype to their industry sponsor. The above process involves multiple roles: capstone coordinator, industry mentors, students, faculty (co-)advisors, as well as the course instructor who oversees all capstone projects to ensure that engineering standards and principles are consistently applied. Obviously, the success of a capstone project largely relies on the intentional integration of multiparty collaboration.


Contact Dr. Simon Fan, Professor and Program Director for Software Engineering, at