For more info, contact
Dr. J.R. Rao
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
University of Houston
N207 Engineering Bldg 1
Houston, TX 77204-4006
Capstone Design in the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been in existence with more or less the same requirements since 1981. These requirements have taken several forms over the years including a joint course with Industrial Engineering (from 1985 to 2010) and with Electrical and Computer Engineering (2003 to 2005), but it has always been a three-credit-hour course until the fall of 2010. Currently, the capstone design requirement is two, “mechanical engineering only”, three-credit-hour courses taken in the fall (MECE 4340) and continued in the spring (MECE 4341). For the fall 2010 and spring 2011, the course had 75 students working in 19 teams on 14 different projects. (Multiple teams are allowed to work on the same projects under certain conditions.)
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) requires that engineering curricula provide a “capstone” experience to students. The ABET also requires that students be involved in design activities in which “realistic” constraints are imposed and in which results in the “realization” of an artifact. Industrial involvement in the capstone courses is extremely important since industry can provide the “realistic” projects that are desired in the capstone experience. Industrial sponsors are expected to cover all expenses for their projects and to provide technical support to the teams. With prior agreement industrial sponsor can retain any intellectual property derived from its project if the project has involved no University resource, e.g., lab space or equipment. Industrial sponsors are asked to make a $2000 donation to the Department to help cover the expenses of other unsponsored projects, e.g., regional and national design competitions and service projects.
On this website you will find the current “Call for Projects” and the “Project Solicitation Form.” Should you have any questions regarding the Capstone Design Program, please call or email me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Richard Bannerot, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Email: rbb [at] uh [dot] edu