Senior Capstone Projects

Who: Juniors and Seniors studying Engineering and/or Computer Science.

Why: 93% of the companies surveyed at the CoE career fair last year said they are more likely to hire a student that has worked on a project with engineers outside their major (link).

What: Receive course credit for participating in one of the interdisciplinary design projects organized by the Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab’s xDI program. See project descriptions below.

When: This fall and/or spring semesters.

How: The projects will run as a hybrid of independent studies and capstone projects (when approved by the department capstone instructor).

More information or to enroll email:


Project Descriptions:

[1] Autonomous solar powered boat: Design, build and test a small, autonomous, unmanned, solar powered boat that can navigate from Lake Monona to the Mississippi River via the Rock River. The boat will need sensors for measuring water quality and cameras for imaging the waterways.

[2] Drone on a moving All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV): This project is in partnership with Polaris to understand how drones may be used to augment the off-road vehicle experience. The initial focus will be on developing testing methods for landing a drone on a moving ATV.

[3] Autonomous delivery vehicle: Design, build and test a vehicle that can be used for indoor or outdoor autonomous delivery. The UW Makerspace already has a robotic platform (Loomo by Segway) that may be used as a base vehicle.

[4] makerspaceOS or shopOS: Similar to how an operating system (OS) in a computer manages computer hardware and software resources, makerspaces and machine shops would benefit from an “Operating System” to help shop staff properly manage their machines and processes. For example, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors such as cameras and accelerometers on equipment that can notify the manager when there is a potential maintenance issue or when equipment is not being used properly.

[5] Wind Turbine:  Design and build a fully functional wind turbine for testing in the Collegiate Wind Competition’s wind tunnel. Develop an effective mechanical, electrical, and aerodynamic wind turbine and load design that efficiently converts energy from the wind into a safe and reliable form of electricity while also providing safety controls for the turbine.


Mechanical Engineering

Lead Instructor: Michael Cheadle (

Course Name: ME 351/352 Interdisciplinary Design Projects

Website: here

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Lead Instructors: Greg Harrington (, Mark Oleinik (, Charles Quagliana (

Course Name: CEE 578 Senior Capstone Design

Electrical Engineering

Lead Instructor: Joe Krachey (

Course Name: ECE 453 Embedded Microprocessor System Design

Materials Science & Engineering

Lead Instructor: Russ Haas (

Course Name: MSE 470/471 Capstone Projects I/II

Biomedical Engineering

Lead Instructors: John Puccinelli (

Course Name: BME 400 Capstone Design Course in Biomedical Engineering

Website: here