Faculty Intellectual Property in Capstone Design Projects

Document Type




Format of Original

2 p.

Publication Date



Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Source Publication

IEEE Pulse

Source ISSN



Reports on the Capstone Design challenge, focusing on design challenges for the participants. By focusing on the design process and allowing students to gain hands-on experience in design, they help prepare students for careers in engineering. In many capstone design courses, students design a product or device to solve a problem and build and test a prototype to verify and validate the design. Student teams are often advised by some combination of industry sponsors, clinical advisors, and/or faculty advisors. Faculty advisors serve as technical advisors to the teams and provide guidance to keep them on track. They are not members of the team, and should not significantly contribute to the team’s final design. Capstone design projects are about student design, not faculty design; therefore, faculty should not become inventors along with the students on the team. Capstone project teams are not like research teams led by faculty working with graduate students, where the team works together to solve a problem and generate solutions that might become commercialized. They are meant to be teams consisting of undergraduate students who develop their own solutions to a problem.


IEEE Pulse, Vol. 7, No. 2 (March-April 2016): 54-55. DOI.