"They came up with a new approach that we’d not pursued previously.
We’re taking one of their concepts further this summer, leveraging one of our Iowa State co-op students to get the idea market ready."
- Kevin Gaul, Pella Corporation
Student Projects at ISU
Every engineering student at Iowa State University is required to complete a capstone project to graduate. Many of these projects are sponsored by companies, and a team of senior students works with the company to apply engineering analyses and provide design recommendations. Project topics reflect Iowa State’s engineering departments – e.g., mechanical, electrical, software, computer, industrial, agriculture, material sciences, or chemical. Projects may take place during one or two semesters and are offered twice per year (fall and spring semesters).
Typical capstone project areas include product design, machine design, process improvement and modeling, plant layout, or new concept exploration. Students may access Iowa State labs and expertise of research faculty as part of the project.
Iowa companies usually receive two benefits from their involvement in a capstone project:
- Additional technical resources to solve problems and explore ideas
- Access to engineering students, who can also be assessed as future employees
Last year, there were 146 company capstone projects, which generated $63 million of economic impact in Iowa.
CIRAS provides several related services, including: