Welcome to the ELECOMP Capstone Design Program for Electrical (ELE) and Computer (COMP) engineers at the University of Rhode Island. The ELECOMP Capstone Design Program promotes a dynamic collaboration between senior-level engineering students and industry sponsors to design, build, program, and test solutions to real-world problems. Faculty members are available to consult on the projects; bringing to bear their own experience in key engineering disciplines. Students gain valuable experience as they apply theory to practice, while industry sponsors benefit from introductions to young talent and the innovative solutions they present. This experience is educational, exciting, and productive for both the Student Teams and Industry Sponsors. Such collaboration prepares our students for positions with top companies, provides innovative solutions to our industry sponsors’ most pressing problems, and makes the world a better place as project solutions are implemented for the public good. The students’ abilities to introduce new technologies, tools, processes, designs and academic rigor should not be overlooked. Additionally, they bring a naiveté that forces questions to be answered about a company’s established products, processes and protocols.
Bridging the gap from the classroom to industry is critical to the success of today’s students. Historically, this has been achieved through contrived projects that simulate real world conditions. However, they fall short in a few key areas by not allowing students to experience external schedule challenges, poor documentation, vendor dependencies, decision making, and risk taking. The ELECOMP Capstone Design Program exposes and demands students to be fully engaged in these real-world issues.
While the Capstone experience is important to the students, it is also important to the University’s mission to provide educated workers for the state’s businesses. Students in the Program learn not only to apply their engineering skills, but also receive the opportunity to learn about how professionals operate in the engineering field. This dual-emphasis allows graduates to work with companies to learn, first-hand, the opportunities available to them. The Capstone Design Program has led to many successful pairings at many companies. The value of this connection making cannot be overstated.