Project Sponsorship

WE WANT YOUR CHALLENGES

We are actively accepting projects for the Fall semester.

We are now accepting project submissions for the Fall 2024 semester using the link provided below.

    Have some project ideas? See below for an overview of sponsorship and the first steps for submitting your project. What challenges do you or your organization have that could be addressed by Colorado’s next generation of engineering leaders? 

    Our search for engaging, real-world engineering design projects never stops. Every year, Mines Capstone Design hosts nearly 100 student design teams who need great challenges. We launch projects in January and August and are eager to work with a variety of organizations spanning industry, nonprofits, and government. Capstone Design is a two-semester course sequence for the mechanical, electrical, civil, environmental, and design engineering degree programs, and occasional inclusion of Computer Science, and Metallurgical & Materials Engineering.

    Project categories and challenge areas include:

    • Space Resource Extraction
    • Renewable Energy
    • Adaptive Technology
    • International Development
    • Building Science
    • Water Management
    • Habitat Restoration
    • Heavy Construction
    • Power Systems

    The following types of projects are excluded from Capstone student project consideration:

    • A project which requires the use or modification of a “dangerous weapon” as defined by Mines Policy here
    • A project which requires human involvement that has the potential to cause detrimental or damaging impact to a person
    • A project which does not include both opportunity/alternative assessment as well as detailed design/prototyping.
    • A project which promotes drugs or other products which do not comply with federal law.

    Capstone prepares students for the workforce by emphasizing:

    • Project Management Skills
    • Leadership
    • Teamwork
    • Human-Centered Design
    • Client-Consultant Engagements

    Sponsorship Overview

    WHAT MAKES A GREAT PROJECT?

     

    Since this is the Capstone experience for our students, we are looking for projects with several key elements. A few of the most important ones include offering:

    • a project with an engineering design scope that is broad enough to challenge a team of five students for two semesters (29 weeks specifically on the project),
    • a challenge that allows consideration of multiple alternative solutions,
    • a challenge that requires the students involved to directly apply their undergraduate course work, and,
    • a project that will provide students with a positive and realistic professional practice experience.

    For examples of great past projects, check out the Design Showcase program available on under the Design Showcase tab.

    WHO MAKES A GREAT SPONSOR?

    Our most successful sponsors contribute two essential items to our Capstone teams: time and mentorship.

    Time commitment: Involvement of the sponsor is a key factor in the success of the project. Great project sponsors will commit one individual for approximately one hour every other week, and some sponsors commit to a weekly student engagement to support the student team. This is typically through videoconferencing or phone conferences, although in-person meetings are highly recommended.

    Mentorship: Capstone sponsors offer valuable professional mentorship to students naturally through the client-consultant relationship by challenging assumptions, celebrating victories, and offering insight and expertise at design reviews. In addition, any training, subject matter experts, or on-site resources that you can make available to the students are greatly appreciated.

    SUBMIT YOUR PROJECT HERE
    Submit a Capstone Design Project Proposal

    We want Capstone Design to be a great experience for both our students and our project sponsors. To help clarify needs and expectations on both ends early, we ask project sponsors to:

    1. Compile a brief project overview of the project you envision and a list of deliverables you expect. We will respond within one week of your submission to confirm your submission and notify you if your project was chosen.
    2. Consider attending a Capstone Design Showcase event prior to becoming a sponsor to learn what the students are capable of and to get a feel for the range of complexity and quality to expect from your team.
    3. Review our Project Acceptance Agreement contract early and ensure your organization can comply with the contractual needs of this program.

     

    KEY PROGRAM DATES

     

    Below are some important dates for the upcoming cycle of Mines Capstone Design:

    July 1, 2024 – Deadline for sponsors/clients to submit project proposals for Fall 2024 cycle.

    Submit a Capstone Design Project Proposal

     

    For our Fall start clients:

    August 22nd, 2024 – Sponsor Project Expo at the Ben Parker Student Center, 8:00 to 12:00pm

    • Although not required, attendance at the Project Expo is strongly recommended to ensure sufficient student interest in your project. Please inquire about details of this event.

      November 21, 2024  Capstone Senior Design Showcase for our Spring start projects will take place at the Ben Parker Student Center and is open to the public from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Current and prospective project sponsors are invited to view projects that started the previous fall. Student teams are presenting their work that has spanned a total of two semesters.

      April 24, 2025  Capstone Senior Design Showcase for our Fall start projects will take place at Lockridge Arena at the Student Recreation Center and is open to the public from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Current and prospective project sponsors are invited to view projects that started the previous spring. Student teams are presenting their work that has spanned a total of two semesters.

      PROJECT SPONSORSHIP FEES

      Project sponsors support the Mines Capstone Design program through a fully-funded sponsorship fee of $5,000 per project.

      Non-profit / NGO / start-up organizations and Mines Faculty can request consideration for a reduced sponsorship fee ($1,000) + material costs over $1,000 for prototyping needs.

      The Mines Capstone Leadership Team is cognizant of the dollar amount requested to sponsor a capstone projects.  Half of the sponsorship fee supports the team’s budget to complete the project, while the remaining sponsorship supports the Capstone Design program.  The cost associated with capstone projects goes beyond the materials provided to complete the project.  Along with the project materials, the capstone program supports your project by providing:   

      • Dedicated Project Advisor (a faculty member or experienced engineer) to support your student team with guidance throughout the 8-month project; 
      • Staffing for purchasing support for all project materials and needs; 
      • Access to state-of-the-art Labriola Innovation Hub hand including power tools and additional support of specific equipment and spaces as needed; Wood Shop, Metal Shop, 3D Printing and Textiles Lab, Electronics Shop, Software makerspaces. Other mines facilities include – Additive Manufacturing Teaching Lab, ME machine shop, Electronics Discovery Center, and more.  
      • Staffing for extended hours in the Thorson Capstone Design Center, where student teams meet to complete their projects. 
      • Faculty technical advisors  

      Along with these resources available for your project, the average team of six students dedicates over 900 hours to your project.  We hope you will consider sponsoring a project with our Mines engineering students. 

      BENEFITS OF PROJECT SPONSORSHIP

      Our past and current Capstone sponsors report myriad benefits of engaging with a team of talented Mines seniors:

      • Students have access to the facilities and world-class faculty at Mines.
      • Our multi-disciplinary team-building process pairs students with their areas of interest and their preferred project. Consequently, Capstone sponsors get to work with a group of engaged students with genuine interest in the company and its work.
      • Over 900 person hours dedicated to your project across 29 weeks.
      • Fresh eyes and minds focused on moving your project forward.
      • Each team is assigned a Project Advisor (PA), who has extensive project management and execution experience. Their role is to guide the team toward major milestones and deliverables that include preliminary, intermediate and final design reports.
      • Great exposure on campus for your company’s brand.
      • Mentorship opportunities with the next generation of great engineering minds.
      • An up-close and in-depth way to meet potential new employees before graduation.

       

      STUDENTS WORKING TOWARD A PROFESSION IN ENGINEERING

      The most successful partners recognize that the Capstone Design program is primarily an educational program. They:

      • Choose projects from their “nice-to-have” list and avoid having students on their critical path.
      • Select ambitious outcomes that include detailed drawings, calculations, stimulations and prototypes.
      • Treat students like an entry-level engineer and plan on providing guidance throughout the process.
      • View sponsoring a project as an outreach activity which helps train their junior engineers for management.
      WANT TO KNOW MORE

      If you would like to know more about the Mines Capstone Design Program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Stakeholder Relations Manager, Leah Fitzgerald at leahfitzgerald@mines.edu