Seeking ECE 2014-2015 Senior Design Capstone Projects and Faculty & Alumni ‘Customers’

We are again seeking engineering challenges suitable for undergraduate seniors to address in their required capstone Senior Design project, a year-long, team-based course. Would you or a colleague be able to suggest a project and serve as a volunteer ‘customer’? We have a great class this year so I do hope that you can help.

Each year Boston University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks real-world problems from industry, government, non-profits, small businesses, and individuals. These problems are presented to our Senior Design capstone project student teams in early September. Teams then work through the fall semester to develop a plan for delivering a solution to the problems and begin execution. In the spring they complete their proposed design, test, and deliver the project prototype. Many students report that capstone design was the single experience that best prepared them for employment and real-world challenges. We hope you can help us challenge our students this year.

Examples of prior years’ projects are posted on our web site here.

Projects guidelines are listed below, as is a sample one-page description template. Please contact me if you would like to submit a project or discuss a potential project idea. Students return to classes after Labor Day, and we would like to have general problem descriptions available shortly thereafter. After projects are assigned to the teams, their first responsibility will be to contact their ‘customers’ and learn the details of the problems. We do not require financial support from our “customers” although many choose to donate equipment or other resources.

Thank you for considering our request, and for any help you can give us.

Senior Capstone Design – Project Guidelines

Projects are defined to meet the learning objectives of Senior Capstone Design, as a team-based, design-oriented, interdisciplinary, capstone course. The following criteria are considered in offering projects and assigning them to teams:


  1. Does the project require appropriate technical skills at a senior capstone level?
  2. Does the project require substantial ECE design (hardware/software)?


  1. Does the project require special facilities, instrumentation, or resources?
  2. Is a customer interested and available during the project?

Team Dynamics

  1. Are there enough distinct technical responsibilities for a team-based approach?
  2. Does the project have sufficient scope for a two-semester, 5 person effort?

Problem Statements

We post standardized, one-page, project descriptions during the second week of September. Students review the descriptions and identify three preferred projects. Course faculty members use these preferences and other considerations to assign projects. Each description has:

  1. Short project title
  2. List of required technical expertise areas of expertise
  3. Description of the technical problem (about 1/2 page)
  4. Expected deliverables
  5. Contact information for the customer
  6. Items or budget to be supplied by customer (if any)

A sample page description from last year is below. It is not necessary to use this format.

Customers can participate as much or as little as they prefer during the year. Each team will contact their customer in September to elaborate the problem and develop their engineering requirements. Customers should expect to provide more details and background at that stage. Customers should expect occasional questions during the year. All customers are invited to attend ECE Day (TBD – typically the first Monday in May).

All teams prepare interim and final documentation, including engineering drawings as appropriate. This documentation and the project prototype are given to the customer for his internal use.

For more information contact: Prof. Alan Pisano ( )

Click here for a Sample Client Submission:

Sample Client Submission