ECE Culminating Design Project

This course is no longer offered


CMPE Degree: This course is for the CMPE degree.

EE Degree: This course is for the EE degree.

Lab Hours: 0 supervised lab hours and 0 unsupervised lab hours.

Technical Interest Group(s) / Course Type(s): BSCmpE core (2012-13 curriculum), BSEE core (2012-13 curriculum)

Course Coordinator:

Prerequisites: See topical outline

Corequisites: None.

Catalog Description

Team-oriented culminating design project in electrical/computer engineering, incorporating engineering standards and realistic constraints. Requires formal reports and group presentations.


Course Outcomes

  1. effectively work in teams to produce a final design project.
  2. define the scope of a challenging open-ended design problem, research technical literature, and propose a design approach.
  3. identify and apply appropriate engineering standards to a design and consider how multiple realistic design constraints affect design alternatives.
  4. describe qualitative design goals, and determine quantitative design specifications.
  5. prepare and update a project timeline in the form of a Gantt Chart, including tasks and milestones.
  6. prepare and update a realistic project budget of actual development and prototyping costs; if appropriate, estimate manufacturing costs and profit.
  7. reduce the design to practice in the form of a working prototype, and demonstrate performance of the prototype as compared to the quantitative specs.
  8. prepare a thorough documentation package that is of sufficient detail so that other engineers could understand and recreate the project.
  9. write documents with correct technical content, sufficiently detailed explanations, and proper formatting, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage.
  10. make effective oral presentations incorporating significant technical content using standard presentation software.

Student Outcomes

In the parentheses for each Student Outcome:
"P" for primary indicates the outcome is a major focus of the entire course.
“M” for moderate indicates the outcome is the focus of at least one component of the course, but not majority of course material.
“LN” for “little to none” indicates that the course does not contribute significantly to this outcome.

1. ( ) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics

2. ( ) An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors

3. ( ) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

4. ( ) An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts

5. ( ) An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives

6. ( ) An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions

7. ( ) An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Strategic Performance Indicators (SPIs)

Not Applicable

Course Objectives

  1. work in teams to propose, formulate, and solve a challenging open-ended design problem of significant scope, depth, and breadth.
  2. understand and incorporate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints, within realistic design time, budget, and performance objectives.
  3. prepare and update qualitative design goals, quantitative design specifications, realistic budgets and realistic schedules.
  4. develop a prototype of the proposed design and demonstrate the prototype in accordance with the specifications (i.e., reduce the design to practice).
  5. effectively communicate information relating to all aspects of the design process in written, oral, and graphical form.

Topical Outline

Prerequisites: ECE 4001* and (ECE 3005 or ECE 3006* or ECE 3042) and (ECE 3040 and (ECE 3042 or ECE 3043) or (ECE 3055 or ECE 3056) and ECE 3030) [all courses min C, except ECE 3005 or ECE 3006] * Prerequisites indicated with an asterisk may be taken concurrently with ECE 4007. ECE 4001/4007 will be replaced by ECE 4011/4012 beginning Fall 2013. This course satisfies the major design requirement for EE and CmpE majors and provides senior ECE students with the necessary skills to address and solve open-ended design problems. Working individually, students will research and write a topical background summary, including an annotated bibliography. Working in teams, students will complete a semester-long project requiring specification, design, implementation, and testing. Projects must be based on the knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work, and incorporate appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints. For teams including CmpE majors, the project must incorporate both hardware and software design elements and trade-offs. Emphasis is placed on the design process, the technical aspects of the design, and on reducing the proposed design to practice. The course includes a weekly one-hour common lecture to provide supporting information and instructions to all design teams. Lecture topics include the following: * Course overview and deliverables * Proposal/PDR written report and oral presentation * Codes and standards * Project specifications * Project budget and schedule * Ordering parts * Intellectual property and laboratory notebooks * Design considerations, constraints and tradeoffs * Engineering documentation * Final written report and oral presentation * Project demonstration All ECE 4007 projects must include, as a minimum, the following elements, with all deliverables submitted electronically. Faculty supervising individual projects may impose additional requirements or constraints. Regular Progress Reports -- Minimum of four periodic (weekly reporting may be required) progress reports, including both team and individual contributions. Formal Written Design Proposal/Preliminary Design Review (PDR) -- Each design team must submit a formal written project proposal or PDR to enable evaluation of the projects feasibility/progress and the technical approach and to identify quantitative project specifications. Proposal/PDR Oral Presentation (requires significant participation by each team member) -- The proposal/PDR presentation should be prepared using standard presentation software and include an introduction with project overview, motivation, and relevance; relevant coverage of all written report elements; and be presented at an abstraction level appropriate to the project scenario and audience. Final Written Report -- Each design team must submit a formal, written final report that is sufficient to allow project replication by a suitable engineering team, or, if appropriate, project continuation by another student team. Final Oral Presentation (requires significant participation by each team member) -- The final presentation should include all the characteristics of the Proposal/PDR Presentation with the addition of an emphasis on results. Project Demonstration -- Prior to the end of the semester, each team must demonstrate their project to their faculty advisor and compare functional results with project design goals and specifications. This demonstration could take place either during the final presentation or at a mutually convenient time. If the project is not suitable for a final demonstration, then some visual representation of project functionality should appear in the final presentation. Peer evaluation -- Each design team should participate in a formal peer review process to assess both team and individual performance at both the project proposal and the project completion stages.