Capstone Course Road Map
The ECE Capstone program has recently gone through a significant change to provide better opportunities for the students to develop professional skills and prepare themselves to integrate into the industry or higher education. ECE currently offers three different options for students:
- The ECE Two-Semester sequence capstone course comprises Capstone I (ECE3906 or ECE3905) and Capstone II (ECE4905). Students can choose industry or community sponsored projects or define projects based on their interests.
- The two-semester Design with Honors Thesis Project comprises Capstone I (ECE3906) and Honor Capstone (ECE4900H).
- The two-semester Multidisciplinary Capstone comprises Capstone I (ENG5901.01) and Capstone II (ENG5902.01) within the Engineering Education Department (EED).
Capstone instructors, and graduate and undergraduate mentors support each cohort to assist the students in various topics such as circuit design, power electronics, embedded systems, control and robotics, Radio Frequency (RF) and communication, hardware, and software.
Students learn about the engineering design process, defining problem statements, customer discovery and needs, and project requirements. Once the problem statement is clearly defined, they start the concept design, finding potential solutions for the problem. Meanwhile, they will become familiar with project management and how to create the project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Gantt chart for scheduling, and budget management.
Following this phase, they practice down-select design and arrive at the most practical and plausible solution using different methods, such as decision matrices. In the next stage, they start the detailed design process, producing the system's block diagram, Computer-aided Design (CAD) models, wire diagrams, circuit diagrams, Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) design, components selection, and the Bill of Material (BoM). The students learn how to select components from different vendors and manufacturers during this process. Finally, they can purchase the sensors in the first semester to become familiar with functionality and performance and start prototyping to close on the final solution.
Students work on the solutions from the previous semester, using rapid prototyping to ensure their design is sound and can meet the project requirements. The lectures are kept to a minimum to allow students to utilize the class time to work on their designs. The students must develop the test plan and present it to the instructor while working on their designs within the first month. Most of the second semester's time is spent building, testing, and troubleshooting. The role of the instructor as mentor and advisor to the project becomes vital to the student's success.
The project deliverables are:
- Test plan (including test procedure forms)
- Test results
- Demonstration of the final prototype
- User manual
- Final report
- Final presentation and Recommendation
Students can choose research as the second part of the capstone program. They are required to discuss the project with their research faculty and file a petition to replace 4905 with 4905H. Eligible students must hold Honors standing and permission of the department. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Engineering Education Department (EED) offers a broad range of opportunities for capstone projects sponsored by the industry. For engineering and non-engineering students.