Published: Nov. 28, 2017

Charles MusgraveNext month, our seniors will return to campus and begin one of the biggest challenges of their undergraduate careers: the capstone design course.

This one-semester course allows student teams to work collaboratively on real-world technical problems. Students analyze the problem, develop ideas and data, provide oral presentations and prepare a final technical report.

How do we ensure that these problems are challenging and realistic? Industry liaisons. That’s where we need your help.

As a liaison, you’ll provide a brief statement describing an engineering problem and outlining your goals. Many liaisons submit topics that might get buried among workplace priorities. Some liaisons offer “blue-sky,” high-risk projects unconnected to their current work that they find personally interesting.

The project topics are diverse, as these recent examples show:

  • Model the extent to which modern floor cleaning equipment for hospitals can make floor pathogens airborne
  • Develop a photocurable adhesive to bond components of a prosthetic leg together, including a method of application and a cost analysis
  • Identify new anthocyanins that could serve as a natural source of blue or purple color for food additives and propose a process to purify them from a bacterial or yeast fermentation

Once a student team selects your project, you’ll check in weekly throughout the semester in person, by phone or online.

There’s no cost and no grading required – just informal feedback and guidance to a team of bright students.

Being an industry liaison is an incredibly valuable way to give back to the department, help future engineers, find potential talent for your business and to get fresh eyes on tough problems. Visit the ChBE capstone design website to submit your idea as soon as possible, or contact Tom Belval and Al Weimer for more information.

In the past 20 years, the capstone design course has supported more than 250 projects from over 75 organizations. What idea can we help you solve?

Charles Musgrave signature

Charles Musgrave
Department Chair