Published: Nov. 28, 2017

ChBE Capstone Design Course Information for Liaisons (Clients) | University of Colorado Boulder | University of Colorado Boulder

Every spring semester, teams of seniors in Chemical and Biological Engineering at CU Boulder work with industry professionals on technical projects they bring.


  • a problem statement that gives the technical problem, its context, and project scope
  • an hour a week of their time to guide the team (there is NO FEE) over the 15 week semester


  • a student team (100 % of their course time is devoted to the project)
  • CU resources, including:  

the world-class CU library system with its subscription databases (e.g. Web of Science, SciFinder, Engineering Village) for searching published literature, worldwide patents, etc., plus a staff librarian for assistance

licensed software for modeling and simulation of chemical processes (e.g. ASPEN Plus, SuperPro Designer) and fluids (COMSOL Multiphysics), for solving mathematical problems (e.g. MathCad, Mathematica), and for programming (e.g. Python)

  • an instructor to coordinate the course and grade student work, including:

a final written technical report

a final oral presentation


Any kind of technical problem that can be tackled by people trained in chemical and biological engineering is worthy, as these diverse 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 (this project involved lab work at the client’s site)


  • Complete a preliminary design of a phenol production unit and analyze the profitability, operability and safety/environmental aspects of the process


  • 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


  • Develop a computer algorithm in Python to simulate FTIR spectroscopic data and use it to assess the resolving power of FTIR for changes in protein structure

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  For more information and to submit a project idea, see our website:  or contact us at or