ME Capstone Lab Photo


  • Objectives
  • The senior design activity in Mechanical Engineering at Syracuse University is an intense engineering exercise that spans the fall and spring semesters of each mechanical engineering student’s senior year. During this course sequence student teams are required to provide an engineering solution to a client’s need. The solution should include some component of design and require a commitment of approximately 300 hours per student (10 hours per week per student). The progress of each project is continuously monitored using a gated review process that provides regular feedback to the students from the client, the faculty, student peers, and a review panel.

    Capstone projects are designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. This student activity is intended to simulate the environment an engineer would experience in an industry setting. The traditional product development process as shown below will be followed.

    ME Capstone Product Development Process

    Company Benefits

  • Company Benefits
    • Client receives all deliverables
    • Ownership of intellectual property
    • 1200+ student hours of design work over 2 semesters
    • 40 faculty hours of technical advice
    • Visibility to all of the senior class
    • Early access to graduates
    • Visibility to Departments Web page

    Student Benefits

  • Student Benefits
  • This student activity is intended to simulate the environment an engineer would experience in an industry setting.  This usually means a team that is under-staffed, under-funded, and over-worked.  We expect each student to deliver about 10 hours per week on the senior project.  This represents approximately 1200 – 1500 hours of engineering work per team and includes faculty guidance.  The client should also expect to receive all of the proposed deliverables. The student’s will be pushed to successfully compete their projects in this course, again not unlike industry.

    The student will be expected to gain a detailed understanding of the customers’  requirements.   The team will select a preferred solution from among multiple potential solutions.  They will follow traditional gated review process, establishing realistic deliverables and milestones, plan, track and report.  These steps will enhance their skills as members of teams and will hone their skills in written, graphical, and oral presentation.

    Become a Sponsor

  • Become a Sponsor
  • The process of developing a project is a collaborative effort between Syracuse faculty and industry clients and can be aided by the use of a “Pre-Proposal for Senior Design Projects” form.  This form asks for a title, a general description of the project, objectives of the project, an anticipated budget, a point of contact, and a projected list of deliverables.  The list of deliverables is a critical component of this project description.  Deliverables are tangible items that must be transferred to the client prior to a student’s graduation.  The students do not see this pre-proposal form.  Developing a proposal that satisfies their client’s needs is part of their senior design activity.

    Sponsors are required to pay a fee of $5000 to Syracuse to support the College, Department and Capstone program.  Sponsors will also be responsible to pay any expenses in the development of the project.

    The sponsor’s participate in reviews at critical stages of the project.  The sponsor will provide equipment required to develop and test the design.  Provisions will be made to purchase materials for the prototype or have company purchase materials.  The sponsor will be asked permission to present project results in the students’ Final Presentation. Trade secrets and other proprietary information will be omitted from the public presentation and will be presented separately to the customer.

    Intellectual Property/Confidentiality

  • Intellectual Property/Confidentiality
  • Prior to the start of any project, students will sign a Syracuse Mutual Confidentiality & Nondisclosure agreement and Syracuse General Agreement on Assignment of Intellectual Property. The students on the relevant teams will have the right to be listed on any patent as “Inventors”, but the sponsoring company will be listed as “Assignee”. Neither Syracuse University nor the students will retain any rights to the intellectual property.”


  • Mentors/Advisors
  • Company mentors benefits the students primarily in presenting them with practical knowledge and advice, and by giving them access to potential employers.  We would hope this experience is rewarding and it provides an opportunity to interact with potential hires.

    We also assign a faculty advisor to each team to guide the team in their development of the designs and they also provide cutting edge research expertise that may be needed in development of the deliverables.

    If you have more interest in becoming a sponsor, please provide your information below

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