What is Capstone Design (ME 450)?
Undergraduate mechanical engineering students at the University of Michigan complete a capstone design project near the end of their degree program. Many students choose to fulfill this requirement by taking ME 450, a course that offers the student exposure to the design process from concept generation through analysis to prototype validation.
Working in teams of four or five students, this semester-long project allows them the opportunity to apply much of what they have learned from their engineering degree program on an open-ended design problem. Twice-weekly team meetings with faculty are used to provide a constant stream of feedback throughout the term as each team iterates its designs and associated deliverables. At the end of the term, the students showcase their solutions at the University of Michigan Engineering Design Expo.
Capstone projects serve industry, startups, faculty-research labs, and community-based organizations located around the globe. Many capstone design projects focus on benefiting the common good. All projects link to the different areas of study within mechanical engineering and reflect the expertise of instructing faculty.
Each semester, several of our projects come from industry partners. Students enjoy working on these ”real-world” projects and our project mentors like having access to bright, talented, enthusiastic students.
ME 450 teams also work on student-initiated projects. For example, each winter, a group of students from the MRacing team design a new component for next year's electric race car.
ME 450 Students Building a Huge Rubik's Cube
For more information about the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design experience, please contact: