Senior Capstone Design
The Senior Capstone Design Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab-based, hands-on curriculum to provide students with “their first job,” a project supplied by companies and entrepreneurs. These clients benefit from having a student team address their dynamic goals and tight budgets, and provide a fresh perspective.
Our Senior Capstone Design teams are formed based on student background, interests, and strengths. Student teams are advised by an eight-person advisory team, the members of which are specially selected for their technical expertise and for their proven ability to guide students through solving real-world, applied problems.
The projects span two semesters, beginning with the development of a project plan, whereby students define end-user needs, client needs, design objectives and constraints, and metrics for success. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, and then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a working prototype that is tested and refined to meet the project objectives. Projects commence in late August and early January.
Examples of Recent Projects View all 2016 Projects
Third Place 2016 Design Expo Award Winner
AFRL Rapid Descent System
Ashley Pedrotte, Alec Getchel, Jen Hothouse, Jarad Weeks, Arthur Kangas, and Nalani Taniguchi, Mechanical Engineering
Paul Van Susante, William Endres, and Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Air Force Research Lab (AFRL)
Our team is working to design an apparatus that will improve the descent of United States Air Force (USAF) Special Operations Force (SOF) personnel from medium and heavy lift helicopters, and tilt rotor aircraft from altitudes in the range of 20–90ft. The design must safely, rapidly, and effectively move personnel to the ground so that they are ready to complete their mission.
Heat Stress Prevention Kit
Team Members: Jessica Buck, Sean Mackey, Sophia Rizzo, Nicholas Sill, John Schuman, Joshua Kizer, Mikhail Alexander, Mechanical Engineering
Advisors: Jaclyn Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Bill Endress, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Sponsor: Air Force Research Lab
To design for a wearable cooling device for soldiers in the field. The team won top prize at the Air Force Research Lab University Design Challenge
Read More: Heat Stress Prevention Kit design won first place in the Air Force Research Lab University Design Challenge.
Limited Edition RAM Truck Tailgate—Structure
Christian Vreeland, Thomas Gruber, Evan
Rosemore, and Taylor Erva, Mechanical Engineering
Gregory Odegard, Mechanical Engineering-
Chrysler Group LLC
Our team worked in collaboration with another Senior Design team to develop a special edition lightweight carbon fiber tailgate for use in the next generation RAM 1500 for Chrysler Group LLC. The prototype tailgate was expected to reduce current production weight by 25 percent while maintaining loading integrity and integrating a custom selling feature.
Jaipur Foot Improvements
Miriam Paquet and Reid Barber, Mechanical Engineering; Stephanie Boomgaard, Ben Cottrill, and Kevin Peterson, Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Nina Mahmoudian
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering
The Jaipur foot was developed to provide an
amputee in India with a simple, practical, and lowcost
prosthetic that is compatible with an active
and culturally appropriate lifestyle. In 2011, a design
team successfully made improvements to the
Jaipur foot to reduce its weight. The new objective
was to improve compatibility of materials with
the manufacturing process, while maintaining the
affordability and functionality of the foot. The project
culminated with a trip to India to meet with Dr. Anil
Jain and observe patient use of the prosthetic.