Designing the Future

More than 1,200 have gone through the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s capstone Senior Design program since its founding in 1984. Each year, industry sponsors’ cutting-edge projects motivate and excite our students to explore the challenges of design engineering in the real world.

Our sponsors provide student teams with funds for materials, access to world-class resources, and technical contacts; and the students provide sponsors with functioning prototypes that have gone through the design loop several times and have been tested at the clients’ facilities.

Project Themes

  • Medical Devices & Systems

    Projects challenge students to solve important clinical needs through the development of translatable medical devices and systems. Past projects include, for example, a refrigerated “blood cart” that can transport blood products while keeping them at the correct temperature.

  • Industrial, Safety, and Military Equipment

    Students build new technologies to enhance safety and productivity while optimizing performance. Projects have included safety mechanisms to reduce lawnmower injuries to children and a new system to keep EMTs safer during transport calls.

  • Environment & Space

    Students apply their engineering skills to projects that will help explore and improve our environment, from the ocean floor to outer space. Recent projects include a prototype that will allow researchers to collect and analyze space dust from the high atmosphere.

  • Music and Recreation

    Sometimes engineers just need to build something fun. Students have designed, prototyped, and tested concepts for new guitar parts, a better lacrosse stick, and even a funnel cake machine.

In Senior Design, I was able to gain design experience for mass-produced parts that you simply can’t learn from a textbook. My own successes and failures during the program taught me in nine months what would have otherwise taken years. Senior Design really jump-started my career in product development at Stanley Black & Decker.

Nate Green Project Engineer, Stanley Black & Decker

Why Sponsor?

Our Senior Design program has a strong history of collaboration with sponsors from a range of disciplines across industry, government, academia, and nonprofit. Sponsors provide an open-ended problem and our students take the project through the design process to deliver their client an inventive, tangible solution. Projects that sponsors may not have the time or resources to pursue become the top priority of a team of Hopkins engineers.

Sponsors continually tell us that the Senior Design experience gives a solid return on their investment. Sponsors are exposed to the fresh perspectives and creative thinking of the very best undergraduate engineers—and Hopkins faculty—and a talent pool of potential employees.

The capstone Senior Design experience allows students to develop skills and apply concepts that are valued by employers. In return, sponsors get the opportunity to connect with the next generation of leaders in innovation and engineering design. It is a win-win for all involved.

For a small cost, ARL gets the chance to have engineering students work on a design challenge that is important to our mission and could provide great payback. As a sponsor, ARL helps young engineers coming out of college be much more productive when starting their careers. One major benefit for ARL is that we have hired some graduates and they were ready to jump right in.

Bradford David U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Become a Sponsor

Are you Interested in learning more about being a Design Day sponsor? Get in touch!

Nathan Scott

Associate Teaching Professor
Wyman Park Building, G05A

Juniors, Prepare for Senior Design!

Though the course is called “Senior Design,” the preparation work begins in the Junior year. Here’s how to prepare: