The Capstone Program for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering simulates the experiences anticipated in the first two years of an industry assignment.
Students are presented with an industry supplied problem, and given the resources and mentoring to develop a solution based on the individual team-members’ educational experience as an Electrical or Computer Engineer. Many young graduates are confronted with the difficult tasks of learning the design process of their new employer, while trying to adapt to a new set of business priorities and metrics not associated with their educational experience. This course is designed to place them in a position of design responsibility on a multi-talented team, while they direct a project from the point of establishing a comprehensive requirement to demonstration of a product. In a single semester, they are exposed to targeted research, project budgeting and scheduling, formal oral reviews, design audits, documentation processes and team organization. Industry sponsorship provides a meaningful use for the student product, budgets to allow creative solutions to be implemented, and direct student supervision by practicing engineers. This course plays a significant role in the assessment of the educational effectiveness of the ECE BS programs. Students in this course are expected to understand the design process to the stage that they are ready to formulate not only the answers, but to define a well considered approach to an open ended, constrained design question. The ECE capstone course has evolved over the past 8- years with significant input from the industrial sponsors and the multi-disciplinary lecturers who provide the materials and assess the progress of the students.