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About ECE Capstone Design

The Senior Design Capstone is the final two-course sequence in Electrical Engineering (EE) and Computer Engineering (CPE) programs. In these courses, teams of 4-6 students work together to integrate their engineering knowledge to design and produce prototypes for real-world projects provided by faculty, industry, non-profit organizations, and other project partners.

Each student is expected to work about 275h over the course of 30 weeks for the selected project. Our teams are interdisciplinary teams of Electrical and computer engineering students.


The 2-semester sequence offered starting in Fall and in Spring

  • Fall - Spring: Academic year with a winter break
  • Spring - Fall: Calendar year with a (long) summer break

Companies are encouraged to submit project proposals by July 1 for a Fall semester start and by November 1 for a spring semester start.

Before 1st Semester
Capstone faculty and sponsor define project.

Start of 1st Semester
Students start work

Milestone 1
1st Review: Requirements Report & Presentation

Milestone 2
2nd Review: Preliminary Design Review Report & Presentation

Milestone 3
End of 1st Semester

Senior Design Day

Start of 2nd Semester
Students resume work

Milestone 4
3rd Review: Critical Design Review Report & Presentation

Milestone 5
Final Design Review Report & Presentation & Prototype Presentation

Milestone 6
End of 2nd Semester

Senior Design Day


How It Works

Each team will have a dedicated faculty advisor. Capstone advisors are typically full-time engineering faculty or adjunct faculty specifically selected to advise a team and project based on their experience.
Teams generally consist of 4 to 6 students mixed between Electrical and Computer Engineering students.
An engineer from the industry sponsor is invited to serve as an advisor or co-advisor to help make sure the team stays on track to meet the sponsor’s project objectives. The industry sponsor advisor will typically spend an hour or less per week with the team – often meeting virtually via MSTeams or Zoom. At a minimum, a liaison from the company should meet periodically with the student team to provide feedback.
Even though these are experienced senior students and our project expectations are high, these are still student projects in a course context. Within the framework of the course, all projects are conducted on a best-effort basis by students, guided by the instructor team and in close collaboration with the sponsor. The sponsor should understand that our primary purpose is educational; as such, exploratory or proof-of-concept projects can be quite successful. Proposed projects should never be in the critical path of a sponsor’s commercial activities or business operations.

Capstone Design Projects require a project-sized donation to cover materials for the prototype development and general UK ECE Capstone program contribution. The materials part will be directly available to your team to cover the cost of their prototype development. The additional gift will be used to improve facilities, provide training, and cover program costs related to UK ECE Capstone.

Suggested Funding Tiers are

  • Small Project: $500 Materials Budget + $250 Capstone Donation
  • Medium Project: $1000 Materials Budget + $500 Capstone Donation
  • Large Project: $2000 Materials Budget + $1000 Capstone Donation
  • Custom Budget: Your materials Budget + (suggested 50%) Capstone Donation

Teams are selected usually by the second week of the semester a project starts. Donations need to be sent to UK ECE Capstone Design at this point, latest 1 month after the start of the semester (September 20 for a Fall start and February 10 for a Spring start)

Several design reviews occur during the two-semester project. The reviews provide critical feedback to the teams on all aspects of the project. Both the Sponsor Advisor, Faculty Advisor, and Instructor Team assist the team in understanding technical issues. Industry sponsors are encouraged to participate in the design reviews. Each design review consists of an oral presentation and a written report.
Students showcase their work at the end of each semester during ECE Capstone Design Day. This showcase is open to the public and teams present their prototype and a poster of their design.


The project deliverables of a Capstone Design Project include a working prototype of the design and all supporting engineering documentation, including drawings, analyses, and test results. Deliverables may be tailored in accordance with industry sponsor requirements.