Process & Benefits

Senior students apply engineering skills they have acquired during their undergraduate years by tackling technical problems for sponsors in a real-world environment while mentored by UConn Engineering faculty and an engineer from the sponsoring organization.

Overview of the Program

The Senior Design Program is a hallmark of success for engineering seniors. Students are co-mentored by faculty from their department as well as engineers from the sponsoring organization in a two-semester senior design capstone course. The students are exposed to design principles, ethical issues, and matters involving intellectual property and communication practices in the workplace. All projects selected for the senior design program meet the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology) Design criteria.

The Senior Design program has two complementary elements for the students. The academic element focuses on their application of fundamental engineering theory and principals consistent with the ABET objective; “Students must be prepared for engineering practice through the curriculum culminating in a major design experience…” The additional element is the investigation and development of solutions to relevant problems that are important to the sponsor.

All projects have a mentoring engineer from the sponsoring organization, a faculty member and a student team consisting of one or more students.

The students make oral presentations, conduct a peer design review, prepare a written report at the conclusion of each semester and demonstrate final results at the Senior Design Demonstration Day. During the fall semester, students may travel to the sponsoring organization to view and better understand the project objective. Students communicate with the mentoring engineer monthly at a minimum, but normally every two weeks. The team of students meet regularly with the faculty advisor and with their team.

During the fall semester, students are expected to research the project topic, brainstorm potential solutions and identify the analytical and experimental elements of their approach.

A departmental Senior Design leader meets with the student teams regularly to assess progress. This provides an excellent method to determine where students may be having difficulty.