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Industry & alumni

Industry Capstone Program

collage of student capstone teams and project

The Industry Capstone Program brings together UW students and companies to tackle real-world, multidisciplinary engineering problems. Sponsors bring in projects from their companies and provide support to teams of creative, talented engineering students who will design and build innovative solutions.

Learn what the Industry Capstone Program is about, and find out what our industry partners and our students think about the experience.

How it works

Companies Propose a project for academic review by College of Engineering faculty
Industry sponsors Commit $15,000 to cover project and program costs
Teams of students Are matched to a project and faculty mentor
Industry sponsors Provide a technical mentor to meet with the team weekly for the duration of the project (January – June)
Student teams With the help of their technical and faculty mentors, embark on a full cycle design process, including:
  • Problem definition
  • Benchmark studies
  • Concept generation and feasibility studies
  • Engineering design analysis
  • Prototype fabrication and testing when applicable

Benefits to companies

  • High-touch engagement opportunity to assess student talent and recruit for jobs
  • Build brand recognition among next-generation engineers
  • Low cost opportunity for a fresh look at a problem
  • Strengthen ties to the UW College of Engineering
  • Professional development opportunity for technical mentor
  • Non-exclusive commercial license to any IP developed by student team or UW employee through project
  • Provide UW engineering students valuable, career-relevant experiences by applying classroom skills to address real world problems

Are you interested in student research collaborations, with alternative IP arrangements? Consider sponsored research.

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Sample timeline

Date Milestone
Early September Project proposals due
Late October Project launch
Early December Mentor/adviser orientation and team kickoff
January – June Project work, weekly team meetings with mentors
June Final capstone showcase

What makes a good project proposal?

  • Provides a small team of students with a set of design and performance criteria that requires appropriate analytical study on a topic directly relevant to engineering
  • Contains both a design and results phase, culminating in a specific project outcome
  • Reflects lower-priority real-world problems faced by your company; mission critical problems are not appropriate student capstone projects
  • Is appropriate for entry-level engineer in their first or second year on the job
  • Is primarily self-contained, but also integrates with a larger context
We strongly encourage projects that are open to all UW Engineering students, regardless of citizenship.

Send completed project proposal to