Asee peer logo

Experiences In Capstone Design Projects: Partnerships With Industrial Sponsors

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.291.1 - 5.291.10

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

James N. Peterson

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2625

Experiences in Capstone Design Projects: Partnerships with Industrial Sponsors

James N. Peterson Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Idaho Moscow, ID 83844


Capstone design projects in the department provide student teams opportunities to create engineering solutions to problems identified and sponsored by industrial partners. A partnership relationship model for achieving engineering education goals, which is initiated between the department and the sponsor during discussions prior to student involvement, is the central theme that forms realizable expectations for student design projects. Experiences from 32 student project design teams over the past three years provide the basis for perspectives and insights on what is important for achieving a successful partnership and how to improve the odds for a successful student design project. Summaries from several actual student projects suggest the scope, depth, and expectations that have yielded success, plus some that haven’t been so successful along with diagnostic suggestions as to the cause and how to improve. A table shows the categories of sponsors, design team size, and key design goals for these student projects, plus an assessment of the success and engineering design quality for each project. A brochure is described that was created to concisely convey the partnership concept to prospective sponsors of student design projects. This tool has been very useful to convey quickly and painlessly the partnership expectations and general responsibilities when initially contacting potential industry sponsors. Experience indicates that partnerships with industry sponsors yield meaningful educational experiences for engineering students, allow industry to explore an idea with minimal commitment, create friends for the university, and can lead to permanent employment for students following graduation.

I. Introduction

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Idaho requires all Electrical and Computer Engineering students in their senior year to take a two-course sequence, Senior Design, which emphasizes applications of engineering design. This fulfills the major design experience listed in the Professional Component of the Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000) accreditation requirements. It also helps achieve several of the EC2000 program outcomes statements including an ability "to design and conduct experiments", "to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs", "to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems", and "to communicate effectively."

Peterson, J. N. (2000, June), Experiences In Capstone Design Projects: Partnerships With Industrial Sponsors Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015