An ISU student standing next to a poster presentation: Capstone Design.

"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:

Last year, there were 146 company capstone projects, which generated $63 million of economic impact in Iowa.

To seek guidance about capstone design projects or to schedule a no-cost assessment, contact your Regional CIRAS Account Manager or Project Manager Carey Novak.

CIRAS provides several related services, including: