Capstone design courses in Engineering studies

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Bringing it all together

In the final year of studies in many engineering programmes, students have the opportunity to participate in a capstone design course. It requires them to use all of their skills to solve an engineering problem, often involving a client from the industry.

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“In capstone courses, students are given the opportunity to work in teams with industry partners.”

The capstone is the pinnacle accomplishment for students in their engineering degree programme and an integral real-world engineering experience while they complete their studies.

The name derives from the fact that students “cap” off the program with a course that allows them to use skills they have gathered from all courses together, as they would as a practising engineer.

Work with industry partners

In capstone courses, students are given the opportunity to work in teams with industry partners. This approach has gained popularity among industry partners because of their interest in working with innovative and creative university students, who may provide unique solutions to their specific needs.

Some of the programmes that offer capstone design courses in an engineering student’s final year of study—such as programmes in the School of Engineering at The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus—have local, national, and international industry partners as clients for the student projects.

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“They work on such interdisciplinary projects as providing solar power in developing countries”

Design teams at the School of Engineering include students from civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. They work on such interdisciplinary projects as providing solar power in developing countries, improving seismic design in bridges, developing wastewater treatment, and researching new materials for industrial applications. Industrial partners have included such prominent clients as Bombardier Aerospace, Westport Power Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc.

 

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