FAQ specific for Fall 2023
- Please download this file: LINK
Which section of Capstone Design should I register for?
- ME4182-A AND ME4182-AL: Mono-disciplinary – Industry, faculty, or student idea
- Projects originate from industry sponsors, student ideas, or faculty-driven ideas. Student teams are comprised of ME students only.
- ME4723-A AND ME4723-A01: Interdisciplinary – Industry, faculty, or student idea
- Interdisciplinary projects originate from industry sponsors, student ideas, or faculty-driven ideas. Student teams include ME, ID, BME, ECE, and MSE students.
- ME4723-X AND ME4723-X01: Interdisciplinary – EntrepreneurialCreate-X Capstone Design
- Student teams are comprised of ME, BME, ECE, and CS students to design and build prototypes of their inventions and explore market demand and value propositions.
- This website contains information relevant to the first two options, ME4182-A and ME4723-A, only.
FAQ on Course Swaps after end of Phase-2 registration
Are students allowed to form teams across the ME4182 and ME4723 course?
Yes, within certain constraints. First, it is preferred that all prospective team members register in the same course and section if possible. Students may be moved into the ME4723 course if their team comprises students from other disciplines. Similarly, the students will be moved into ME4182 if their entire team comprises of ME only students.
I have a time-conflict with another course and cannot attend the scheduled labs.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include your full name, GTID, and a detailed explanation of the situation/conflict.
What are the typical requirements for a Capstone Design project?
The project should meet the following criteria:
- The problem should be solution agnostic – The project description should focus on problem/need and not elaborate on the specific solution
- The project should involve creativity and innovation – cannot be an assembly of off-the-shelf components
- Lends itself to Engineering Analysis – should require applications of past ME Undergraduate Curriculum
- Sufficient Scope – should justify the effort put in for a 3 credit hour effort by a team of 4-6 students
- The team should have or acquire the skills to complete the project
Who owns that IP that my team creates?
You in most cases, unless the following is true…
Not you if you have an IP assignment agreement with the sponsor
Not you if your project is directly related to your on-campus job
Not you if your project involved significant GT resources; use of the Invention Studio or other “Maker Space” resources is not “significant”; but, for example, use of GT proprietary information, or highly specialized resources unique to GT (e.g., customized instrumentation and modeling) is “significant.”
My team has developed a novel design that we would like to commercialize. Now what?
The Capstone Design Expo is considered a public disclosure and you loose your right to file international patent claims for any disclosed aspects of the invention unless you’ve already taken steps to protect your IP (U.S. patent filing still has a 1 year grace period post-disclosure, but it’s still best to protect your IP before the Expo). Available options to take to protect your IP before and/or during the expo are:
Make sure to file for provisional patent BEFORE the capstone design Expo (https://www.uspto.gov/) This option is the simplest, but then you must file for a patent within 1 year) OR
Ensure to not disclose the enabling detail for claims you plan to patent during the expo (provides more time to file a full patent, but be extremely cautious with this approach)
Attend the Legal Buzz and/or Startup Ideas Session by Create-X. Details here: http://create-x.gatech.edu/1news.html
What is an NDA?
An NDA is a Non-Disclosure Agreement typically used to protect your sponsor company’s IP that they share with you. Not applicable to you if you plan to work on your own project.
Some companies have a companywide umbrella policy requiring anyone and everyone working with any company employee to sign off on an NDA. Companies also need the NDA to safeguard their IP that you might learn during visiting their facilities.
Two avenues for an NDA:
– With GT Legal Office: The company might have opted to have your faculty also a part of the NDA. In this case, the company has the NDA executed with GT and so you will need to agree the NDA terms with GT.
– Directly with the company: your faculty (or other GT employees) are not subject to the NDA. Check for any restrictions on presenting your work at the Expo in the NDA form that you receive from the company.
For the project purpose, various equipment rentals are available for students taking capstone design courses. Students can check out equipment at MRDC 2105. Please note that NOT every item may be available for check-out due to the limited quantity of equipment. Check with Jacob Blevins for check-out availability.
Please see the spreadsheet here for information in regard to available equipment.
Design, Fabrication, and Instrumentation Facilities
Invention Studio – Student run makerspace which has Waterjet, 3D printers, laser cutters, wood working tools, etc.
Machining Mall – Staff run Machine Shop which has lathes, mills, welding equipment, etc.
MPRL Lab – Mechanical Properties Research Lab. Please request entry to the ‘Capstone Design Students’ Billing Group on SUMS prior to requesting access to this lab. You may request entry to the Billing Group using this link: https://sums.gatech.edu/ResearchGroup_View.aspx?ResearchGroupID=219213
Electronics Lab – Staff run Electronics Lab which provides consulting services and can create two layer circuit boards. Technical Request Form