MORE THAN 1,200 STUDENTS have gone through the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s capstone 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.
The Senior Design experience is much like an apprenticeship: students learn to work in teams, meet deadlines, manage project resources, and apply critical thinking to real problems that matter.
2021 MechE Design Day Info
The Senior Design Project is the capstone of Johns Hopkins Mechanical Engineering program. The course requires students to draw upon the four years of knowledge and experience they’ve gained in their engineering studies and put it to practical use. Throughout the year, they produce progress reports as they design, build, and test the devices they’re developing. Combining engineering theory, budgeting, and time management with interactions with real clients, the senior design project is critical to students’ preparation for the transition from school to the workplace. Here’s a sampling of the unique projects our students have worked on:
Though the course is called “Senior Design,” the preparation work begins in the Junior year. Here’s how to prepare:
1. Form Teams in March of the Junior Year!
Visit the page, Johns Hopkins Mechanical Engineering – Senior Design FAQ for Juniors for information on how to get started.
Note that preparations begin in early-March of the Junior year. You are responsible to form teams with classmates beginning in early-March.
Get a jump on your preparations now. Don’t miss out!
2. Take Engineering Design Process as a Senior Design preview!
The course EN.530.381 Engineering Design Process (E, 3 credits) is an excellent way to get a taste of what Senior Design is like. You will work with active Senior Design teams and contribute to those projects while learning vital design skills like rapid sketching, hand drawing, prototype design and creation, teamwork, negotiation, ordering from suppliers, and documenting your work.
The course will count in these ways:
Your faculty advisor will help you determine where it counts in your degree.
We strongly suggest you consider this course as part of your elective choices! Prof. Nathan Scott can answer your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“ For my Senior Design team, I was chiefly responsible for FEAs, which I now do for my job. The technical presentation skills I gained in Senior Design, both in reports and in meetings, were invaluable and have definitely helped me excel in my current job where I am expected to communicate results to design teams and document my technical findings in a clear and thorough manner.”
“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.”
“The Senior Design program mimics real world engineering challenges and constraints beyond textbook knowledge. The scope of the projects are usually very complex, and graduating students demonstrate excellent problem solving, project management and team building skills. Senior Design is an excellent growth experience that gives students confidence in their future.”
“For a small cost, ARL gets the chance 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.”
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 next generation of leaders in innovation and engineering design. It is a win-win for all involved.
Army Research Lab
Claire Hur Lab, Johns Hopkins University
Space Telescope Science Institute
BOSCH Security Systems
Oceaneering Advanced Tech
Stanley Black & Decker
Blind Industries & Services of Maryland
Laboratory for Experimental Fluid Dynamics, Johns Hopkins University
Office of the Undersecretary of Defense
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Johns Hopkins Center for Neuroplastic Surgery