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Department of Engineering - Capstone Design Course Sequence

Department of Engineering - Capstone Design Course Sequence

Capstone Design Course Sequence (ENGR 490- 491)


An integral part of the education provided to undergraduates in engineering is a senior two-semester course sequence in "capstone" design. The objectives of the sequence are to:

  1. Require application of the knowledge gained in earlier courses to the design process.
  2. Familiarize the student with the engineering design process: Definition, Synthesis, Analysis and Implementation.
  3. Improve communication skills.
  4. Promote organizational skills.
  5. Stress importance of other influences on design such as economics, reliability, performance, safety, ethics and social impacts.
  6. Simulate the post graduate job environment.

The design projects are selected from problems submitted by the students, faculty and local industry. Industry projects are given preference since these projects are best suited for meeting the course objectives.


The senior capstone course sequence provides a multi-faceted design experience through instructional and performance phases. Topics and functions included are:

   Instructional phase:

  1. Communications (oral and written)-Public speaking, report writing, visual aids.
  2. The design process: Requirements/specifications/objections, synthesis/analysis, design evaluation, implementation, maintainability, manufacturability, economic and social influences.
  3. Proposal preparation.
  4. Estimating-Life-cycle costing, estimating methods.
  5. Project management and scheduling.
  6. Contracts.

   Performance phase:

  1. Design team formation and organization (composition determined by projects)
  2. Competition for contract awards for design projects (design proposals)
  3. Implementation of design process.
  4. Project scheduling and management.
  5. Design reviews.
  6. Design simulation and testing.
  7. Preparation of documentation, drawings, specifications, etc.
  8. written and oral presentation of completed projects.

Each student is expected to contribute approximately 60 hours to the design effort during the first semester and 180 hours during the second semester. This time allotment is in line with the effort expended on non-design courses.

The projects submitted by all sources are evaluated and approved on the basis of the design content, engineering disciplines, and estimated man-hours required.  The design teams are organized on the basis of project requirements and faculty consultants are assigned to each project to advise and monitor progress.


We do not intend to replace internal or contract engineering design needs of industry or organizations. We can, however, provide sponsors with opportunities to redesign or re-evaluate competed or on-going projects. We can also supply opportunities to examine new ideas, new concepts, or other problems of interest.

Companies wishing to sponsor a project and participate in the senior capstone program are requested to:

  1. Submit a brief problem statement to the faculty advisors for the courses.
  2. Designate an engineering contact for the project.
  3. Make available drawings, on-site visits, ......etc.

All information provided to the students and faculty will be handled according to the wishes of the sponsor. Confidential information and projects will not be disclosed to anyone other than the sponsor, team members and faculty advisors.

When a project is approved and awarded to a student team, sponsor's engineering contact will be asked to meet with the student team and faculty advisors to discuss their initial detailed definition of the problem. Additional meetings with the sponsor (minimum of one per month) during the course sequence are recommended to rack the team's progress.

At the culmination of the project, the team will make an oral presentation and submit a professional, typewritten report which will be delivered to the sponsor. All participants will be invited to attend the oral presentations.


The capstone design course sequence includes students in the Electrical, Civil, and Mechanical Engineering disciplines and problems submitted in any or all of these areas will be forwarded to the appropriate faculty coordinators for approval as design projects. Projects may be enhanced to require involvement of other disciplines or to equalize the effort required of each team member, however, the basic scope of the projects will not be changed.

For more information, please contact the Capstone design coordinators according to their areas:


FALL-SPRING 2008-2009
  • 600/650 Vacuum Backpressure Reduction
  • A.R.C. Engineers: Pleasant Acres
  • Bienville Subdivision
  • Honeywell Design, Control Systems, Inc: Lake Charles
  • Roundabout at Tom Hebert Road and Gauthier Road
  • Orthagonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing (OFDM)
  • Optimization of Louisiana Pigment Plant- Air Supply
  • CV-1 Tower
  • MRE II by Zehyr Aerospace Technologies
  • Boise #2 Paper Machine Conversion
  • IEEE Robot
  • BOH Energy Recovery
FALL-SPRING 2005-2006
  • Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit Main Fractionator Optimization, sponsor Citgo
  • Recover Benzene From Cat Gas, sponsor Citgo
  • Strip H-Cl Gas From Excess Weak Acid, sponsor PPG
  • Design Review and Modification of PPG Plant 'C' Chlorine Neutralization System, sponsor PPG
  • Second Lake Charles Calciner Project, sponsor ENGlobal Engineering
  • Dealership Communications System, sponsor Lake Charles Toyota
  • Mechanical Torso Design, sponsor McNeese Engineering
  • AA Refining Vacuum Jet Replacement Project, sponsor Invista
  • Sip and Puff Fishing Device, sponsor McNeese Engineering
  • Autonomous Warehouse Robot, sponsor McNeese Engineering
  • Lime Kiln Supplemental Fuel, sponsor Boise Paper Solutions
  • Parallel Debutanizer for C4 Recovery, sponsor Citgo
FALL-SPRING 1994-1995
  • Token Dispensor, sponsor WaterMilll Express
  • Pressure Vessel Design, sponsor McNeese Engineering
  • Wet Starch Additive System, sponsor Inland-Orange
  • Enhancement Project for Town of Iowa, sponsor Town of Iowa
  • Emergency Generator Installation, sponsor BioLabs
FALL-SPRING 1993-1994
  • Dust Transfer Control System, sponsor Lake Charles Carbon
  • Tar Pitch Transfer & Storage System, sponsor Lake Charles Carbon
  • Lunch & Rest Room Facility, sponsor Lake Charles Carbon
  • Solar/Electric Boat Race Entry, sponsor ASME/IEEE Student Chapters
  • Closed Loop Controller, sponsor OilQuip, Inc.
  • MSU Campus Computer Network, sponsor MSU Engineering Department
  • Improved Drive for Golf Cart, sponsor MSU Engineering Department
  • Boat Lift for Sabine Refuge, sponsor Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cameron Parish Fishing Pier, sponsor Cameron Parish
  • Communication and Monitoring System, sponsor Sabine National Wildlife Refuge
  • Foundation Designs, sponsor Fugro-McClelland engineers