Capstone Design is a culminating course offered to undergraduate students in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Students work in teams to design and validate solutions to real-world problems, and potentially build and test prototypes of their solutions. At the end of each semester, students showcase their efforts at the Institute-wide Capstone Design Expo.
The Capstone Design course provides students the opportunity to work with real-world, open-ended, interdisciplinary challenges proposed by industrial and research project sponsors. They learn and apply the engineering design process: defining functional requirements, conceptualization, analysis, identifying risks and countermeasures, selection, and physical prototyping when applicable.
Student teams design and validate their solutions, which may include physical prototypes. By working in teams they develop leadership skills and group dynamics; dealing with scheduling conflicts, meeting weekly deliverables and deadlines; and communication among team members, project sponsors, and course instructors.
Teams attend lectures given by experts from Industry and Academia on topics including industrial design, manufacturing, market research and marketing, intellectual property, company formation, codes and standards, and ethics.
At the end of the semester, student teams display and pitch their inventions and marketability to a panel of judges, invited guest, media, and their peers, while competing for cash prizes. This is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to see how their project was conceptualized by the teams at the expo.