Senior Design Sponsor Partners

An essential element of our approach as a school has been to build fruitful relationships with a wide variety of industry partners. Our faculty and student researchers work on the cutting edge of their fields, and can bring their knowledge, energy and creativity to a wide variety of industry settings. One of our primary avenues of engagement with our partners is through senior design project sponsorships. All undergraduate students in the school are required to complete a capstone senior design course, during which they will conceive, design, prototype, verify and validate a system in order to solve a specific customer problem. 

Give the Gift of Experiential Learning

The Ritchie School is currently seeking industry partners to provide industry‐specific projects for students to execute during the upcoming academic year. By partnering with industry, students can complete relevant projects and gain invaluable experience relevant to industry challenges and life after graduation. All projects span the duration of three 10-week academic quarters, beginning in September and finishing by May.

Students who participate in Design Projects will have already completed three years of undergraduate mechanical, electrical or computer engineering. Teams may be formed with students from multiple departments, and each project should include mechanical, electrical and software elements so students are exposed to both a variety of technical challenges and risks at technical interfaces. The Ritchie School is committed to teaching a systems of systems engineering approach in design.

Submit Your Design Project Idea

Become an Industry Partner

Role of the Industry Partner

Our students enthusiastically welcome interaction with industry experts! Active participation in the project is critical to students’ educational experience as well as the successful outcome of your project. We expect all Industry Partners will:

  • Provide a top-level description of the project objectives and specify any potential constraints from which the students in collaboration with the industry partner will develop requirements.
  • Identify an internal primary contact who can dedicate at least one hour per week to the project. Interactions are most important and intensive during the first six weeks of the fall quarter as students work to define the project and requirements.
  • Meet and/or be available for teleconferences with the project team as needed.
  • Provide the project team with advice and feedback on submitted documents and presentations such as the Project Definition Document, Preliminary and Critical Design Reviews, etc., in a timely manner.
  • Attend meetings (or host a web conference) with the team for one-hour design reviews twice each quarter.
  • Provide input to the advising faculty regarding student engagement and performance based on a company-designed rubric. The course instructors and the advising faculty member determine grades for each student based on team achievements and individual contributions.
  • The partner and faculty work together to mentor students; frequent (weekly or bi-weekly) communication with the design team is desirable.

Benefits for the Industry Partner

The Senior Design Program is a one-year, delocalized internship that provides great value to both the student and the industry partner. Benefits to the partner include:

  • 30-week investment of of 6-8 capable and motivated engineering students
  • Opportunity to review and groom potential future employees
  • Maintain intellectual property and ownership of the work (must be addressed with advising faculty at the beginning of the project)
  • Relish the pride of having contributed significantly to the education of graduating DU engineers

Each participating student will be expected to individually dedicate 60 hours during the Fall quarter, 90 hours during the Winter quarter, and 90 hours during the Spring quarter to their Senior Design Project. This is a total of 240 hours per student. On a typical six-person team, this is a total of 1,440 hours of project work.

The primary goal of the Senior Design Project is the education of engineering students. As such, projects in the customer’s critical path are not suitable for Senior Design Projects. “Good-to-have” results and “off-ramp” studies are more appropriate for this learning environment. DU cannot take responsibility for final results and can only guarantee a written report as a final project deliverable.