Capstone Design Overview: All undergraduate students from across the VCU College of Engineering work over the fall and spring semesters of the senior year in teams to design, build and test prototypes for actual, real-world problems and applications. This is strengthened by exposure of the students to topics related to theoretical background, design and development, regulatory, manufacturing, finance, product development and marketing presented by experts from industry and academia. This effort culminates in the Capstone Design Expo, a forum open to sponsors, faculty, students, benefactors of the College of Engineering and the general public. The entire Capstone Design output from the College of Engineering is on display, with a series of awards for worthy projects.
Project sponsors from industry, healthcare, non-profits and faculty can benefit from participation in the VCU Engineering Capstone Design program in the following ways:
Industrial / For Profit sponsors are requested to donate $5,000 per project. All donations go to the College of Engineering Foundation, and may be paid by check or credit card. Donations are used to fund the general expenses of the Capstone program, including the director’s salary, all costs associated with the end-of-year EXPO, expenses for student visits to out of town sponsors, competitions and conferences.
Donations are not used to fund expenses of individual projects. All expenses for Industrially-sponsored projects are to be borne by the sponsor. Sponsor will retain ownership of all materials purchased for the project, which preferably should be acquired by the sponsor, not the university.
Donations are invoiced at the end of September and are expected to be settled by November 1. Please contact Michael Mancini (email@example.com) if you desire special arrangements.
Expenses for university, VCU Health and non-profit sponsors come from seed funds and endowments, such as Sternheimer awards. Most projects sponsored by non-profits are exempt from the donation requirement.
Projects may be submitted using the Capstone Proposal Template form. Please fill it out and send to Michael Mancini (firstname.lastname@example.org). The proposal describes the problem and/or unmet need, highlights expected deliverables, and lists resources and team member skills required.
At VCU, undergraduate students normally have ownership rights to any intellectual property they generate during the course of their Capstone project.
For projects sponsored by industry / for profit organizations, the VCU College of Engineering has a straight-forward, client-friendly approach for undergraduate students to assign these IP rights to the sponsor, when requested. Sponsors have until September 30th to request students assign any IP generated on their project to the sponsoring company. In addition, these sponsors may share confidential information with the students under the auspices of a VCU.
Non-Disclosure agreement. VCU's general counsel has reviewed both the IP rights assignment and NDA agreements; the drafts can be downloaded via the links below.
Students working on projects sponsored by VCU, VCU Health or other non profits may choose to assign their IP to VCU. This is usually begun with a conception record, which is submitted to the VCU Innovation Gateway.
Prospective sponsors are requested to sign a “Guidelines for Sponsors”, a document that summarizes all pertinent information regarding sponsoring a VCU Engineering Capstone Project, no later than September 1.
A client-approved Guidelines Document acknowledges that the sponsor has been provided information regarding all legal agreements and fees.