At the pinnacle of engineering art and science stands design. All the effort of engineering students in studying mathematics, physics, and engineering fundamentals leads to design. Design uses all our knowledge of math and science to create things that do our bidding, amuse, serve, diagnose, and even heal.
Engineering design is always fresh and exciting because we can forever think of creative ways to recombine our knowledge of the physical and abstract worlds into something new and exciting. Something that will turn the world upside down once again.
At USU Electrical and Computer Engineering, our seniors demonstrate their ability in design by completing a two-semester senior or capstone design and communications sequence. The starting courses are ECE 4820 (Engineering Design I) and ECE 4830 (Engineering Communications I). Students take ECE 4840 (Engineering Design II) and ECE 4850 (Engineering Communications II) in the second semester. Both sets of courses are available Fall and Spring semesters.
The senior design courses are designed to mimic an industrial design process. There is a mix of instruction in practical technical subjects and in documentation typical of industrial design. The documentation process is designed and taught by a professional technical writer who provides excellent templates for the required documents and extensive personal help on producing these documents.
At USU Electrical and Computer Engineering students can choose their own projects for senior design. We encourage our students to serve the less fortunate in their senior designs, pursue passions, and see and solve problems in daily life. Students can choose to work in a favorite subject area and arrange mentoring with a favorite professor in this subject.
Alternately, ECE students can work on projects with teams from other engineering departments (primarily Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering-MAE). Projects in the MAE Department are fixed by the department and their need for ECE students is dependent on the individual project. Typically, departments seeking our students will announce these needs early in each semester. Projects with other departments are considered on a case by case basis.
ECE students already employed in a technical position can work with their employers to develop a project that is useful to the employer and meets the requirements of the ECE department. Such projects remain the complete property of the sponsoring company even though the student has access to USU facilities and equipment during the design.
The senior design semesters at USU are exciting and intense. You will work hard and produce something that you may not thought you could do at the beginning of the sequence. The process concludes with a Senior Design Night where you showcase your projects to family, friends, potential employers, and the public. Students who participate in this night invariably call it fun.