University of Vermont


Senior Design

The culminating experience for Senior Engineering students at UVM is conducting a major team-based design project. The teams consist of Civil and/or Environmental Engineers or Electrical and/or Mechanical Engineers depending on the degree program. Below you'll find descriptions for each of the two options:

CE and EnvE Senior Design

Our CE and EnvE graduates have a multi-disciplinary, senior design experience in their final year. Currently, it is an intense 15-week long experience. For the past six years, almost all of the capstone projects have been service-learning projects where students work with local communities, towns and non-profits on their Civil and/or Environmental Engineering related needs. We select projects that offer a solid design experience and at the same time promote sustainability and civic engagement. For each project, students consider multiple design alternatives and suggest recommendations based on costs and social and environmental impacts. They write comprehensive technical reports and make presentations to external evaluators, faculty, fellow students and community partners.

EE, ME and BME Capstone Design

The importance of real-world experience

Seniors in the Electrical Engineering (EE), Mechanical Engineering (ME), and Biomedical Engineering (BME) programs work in teams to address complex and multidisciplinary problems. Capstone projects originate as statements of need from local companies and/or faculty research projects and are conducted with the direct, continuous mentoring by engineers and Engineering faculty.

From a company's perspective, a Capstone project offers the opportunity to work directly with seniors who are likely to be candidates for entry-level engineering positions when they graduate. Company engineers get to take a long-standing problem off the back burner and often consider the mentoring role a welcome addition to their more typical duties.

Students relish the opportunity to engage in engineering practice as preparation for work in industry and as application of the theory they have been learning. These real-world projects, which often involve teams of both EE and ME students, also allow Seniors to engage in teaching each other the fundamentals of their disciplines, an important and useful experience in learning and collaboration.

Course material related to design project fundamentals and the involvement of industry contacts add to the students' design education and strengthen links between industry and Engineering at UVM.

Business Sponsorship of Senior Design

More information for businesses