School of Engineering and Technology Design Expo

Central Michigan University (CMU) was founded in 1892 as the Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute, and has evolved to a university that offers 200 academic programs at the undergraduate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels, including seven engineering programs in the School of Engineering and Science.  The engineering programs are:  Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Product Design Engineering Technology.  As with all ABET accredited engineering departments, the CMU Engineering Department offers students a two-semester senior design program that includes a prototype design project.  At CMU, all students majoring in engineering take the same senior design course at the same time.  The capstone senior design program offers its students and design team corporate sponsors a multidisciplinary approach to developing a prototype, resulting in an opportunity for our students to discover what it is like to work in a diverse group on a project that is supported and guided by practicing engineers.

The capstone senior design project allows the participating students to apply all they have learned since they started at CMU to a prototyping project that meets the acceptance criteria put forth by the corporate sponsor.  This experience matches real-world experiences.  In the engineering profession, there are no single-disciplinary projects.  Each project, whether it is in the automotive-, process-, food & beverage-, construction-, or utility-sectors, is multidisciplinary by its nature.

The capstone senior design course is completed in two semesters, and the highlight of the course is the Senior Design Expo, where the students showcase their prototyping projects, make presentations to the public and participate in open discussions about their projects.  The senior design course is one of several communication-intensive courses within the engineering curriculum, and the public presentations the students make are an important aspect of the program.  Completing the senior design course and participating in the Senior Design Expo gives our students an edge as they transition from their academic careers to life as a professional engineer.