Capstone Projects

What is Senior Capstone Design?

Each student within the College of Engineering is required to take a formal “Capstone” course during their senior year in which they apply their education experience to a real-world project. Students form teams and work with companies or other sponsors on a project. The ISU College of Engineering offers several capstone courses. For full details, see the College of Engineering Capstone site.

Projects are developed and managed together by the company and faculty. The company works with the student team during the semester(s). Each project consists of two key elements:

  • Engineering analysis on a product or process
  • Solutions and/or design recommendations

The student team provides a final presentation to the company at the end of the semester(s).

What are the benefits of Senior Capstone Design?

  • Apply additional engineering resources to a topic of interest: investigate an engineering problem, redesign an existing product or process, or explore a new product concept or technology platform.
  • Use Capstone projects to “seed” innovation projects within the company.
  • Engage students as potential future employees.

What can the College of Engineering and CIRAS do for my company?

Iowa State’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) can help guide companies through the process by working with campus faculty to identify the appropriate department for a research project, by assisting in definition of the project scope, and by helping measure the impact.

Capstone projects give companies access to Iowa State students and technology, providing additional technical resources to solve problems and explore ideas. The access to students also provides an opportunity to assess them as future employees.

Typical capstone project areas include product design, process improvement and modeling, plant layout, new concept exploration, or data analytics.

Visit the College of Engineering or CIRAS capstone pages to learn more.