MIME Capstone Design

The next generation of talented engineers.

Put MIME's seniors to work.

Our students dive right in

MIME Capstone Design is a two-course sequence (MIME 497 and 498) in which Oregon State mechanical, industrial, and energy systems engineering seniors design and implement workable solutions to real-world engineering problems. The opportunity to synthesize and showcase their technical, communication, leadership, and teamwork skills readies MIME students for success as engineering professionals.

MIME Capstone Design project teams – over the course of our engineering students' senior year – develop a complete paper or conceptual solution in just ten weeks, and then work to implement, test, and revise in the following ten-week term. The teams interact with the project sponsor to define design specifications and expected results. For sponsors, it is an excellent way to leverage cost effective "research and development" while inspiring students with "real-world" experience.

Types of Projects

A.) Designing a Product-focused Project

  • You have an idea or need for a new mechanical or electro-mechanical device or process, but don’t have the time, resources or facilities to do it yourself.
  • You’d like to improve the efficiency or ergonomics of machinery on your manufacturing floor.
  • You need help solving a problem with an existing mechanical/electro-mechanical device or process.
  • You’d like a custom software application designed to improve decision-making or recordkeeping in your manufacturing or service operations.

B.) Designing a Process-focused Project

  • You see manufacturing or service processes that could be improved for greater effectiveness, efficiency, and/or safety.
  • You see that your operations are hampered by poor facilities layout.
  • Your workstations could be improved through ergonomic analysis and re-engineering.
  • You’d like to analyze, optimize, and clearly document work procedures to reduce process and product variability.


Benefits to Industry

MIME Capstone Design project sponsorship is a two-way relationship that promises significant returns for your participation. Becoming an MIME Capstone Design Sponsor offers numerous benefits, for example:

  • A relatively small investment of time and money provides a solution to a design problem.
  • It provides a “no-obligation” opportunity to work with and train potential future hires.
  • It raises your organization’s visibility at OSU (and beyond) and leads to stronger working relationships with OSU MIME faculty.
  • It’s a tool with which you can help shape and influence our next generation of engineers — in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, and around the world.

Benefits to Students

The MIME Capstone Design experience puts the final polish on our students’ track to become professional engineers.
Students are responsible for all aspects of their project, including:

  • Working with the project sponsor to fully define project requirements and design specifications.
  • Analyzing and benchmarking “state-of-the-art” solutions and current systems in the project area.
  • Identifying multiple design solutions.
  • Spec’ing a complete design including, as needed, component sizing, sourcing, and budget.
  • Implementing and testing the design, and revising it to meet requirements.
  • Meeting project deadlines.

The Fine Print

Proposal Submission

Use this submission form where you’ll provide some preliminary information on your MIME capstone project proposal, such as a descriptive title, brief summary of the problem, and an initial listing of project requirements and constraints. The student team will work with your company to finalize the requirements.

Project Sponsor Mentor Involvement

The project sponsor mentor serves as the project team’s technical consultant and point person, and reviews and approves project milestones. This individual may make several trips to campus and also host the team for onsite visits.

Team Interaction Expectations

Project sponsor–student team interactions are extremely important and should occur regularly throughout the project. The project mentor must approve the documentation generated at each project milestone. These documents serve as contracts for what the project team must accomplish.

Intellectual Property (IP)

By default, any IP created by the student team during the project belongs to the students. However, other IP arrangements also may be negotiated.

Project Funding and Sustaining Donation

Project sponsors are expected to provide funding and/or materials for prototype construction and process implementation. We also request a $5,000 sustaining donation in support of the MIME Capstone Design program.