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The steps towards a successful senior design project begins junior year. While deadlines may change from year to year, there are specific components to Senior Design to take into consideration.

  1. Introduction to Engineering Design
  2. Project Qualification Form
  3. Engineering Notebooks
  4. Progress Reports
  5. Oral Presentations

Introduction to Engineering Design (ECE 391)

Introduction to Engineering Design is a required seminar course for Junior students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department. The objective of this course is to prepare the students for the Senior Design sequence. Students are introduced to both the concepts and logistics of the Senior Design. The class features a mix of guest speakers who speak on a range of topics including entrepreneurship, engineering standards, intellectual property, ethics, and research methods among others. Students also attend presentations by current Senior Design.

Project Qualification Form (PQF)

The Project Qualification Form is the first document submitted by Senior Design teams in which they outline their proposed project idea. The teams must fully describe the project idea and specify the project deliverables, measures of success, design methodology, and funding source. The document must be reviewed and approved by the Senior Design Committee before work on the project may begin. The Senior Design Committee may suggest revisions and request a resubmission. Once accepted, the Project Qualification Form serves as a written agreement between team members, the team advisor(s), and the Senior Design Commitee.

Engineering Notebooks

Throughout the project, each team is required to maintain an engineering notebook that logs all research, meetings, development, and decisions. The notebook serves as a record of the team's progress and may be referred to by the committee to determine the accomplishments of the team and individuals. The notebook is reviewed at the end of each term.

Progress Reports

Each team must submit a written progress report at the end of each term of Senior Design. The report includes the abstract, motivation, background, deliverables, progress, work schedule, budget, societal impacts, environmental impacts, ethical impacts, conclusions, references, and appendices. The Senior Design Committee reviews and grades the quality of the report.

Oral Presentations

Each team must give an oral presentation to the Senior Design Committee at the end of each term of Senior Design. The oral presentation provides an overview of the project and the progress to date. Teams are given 30 minutes total for their presentation which includes setup, presentation, and questions. Presentations are open to the public.