Capstone Design Courses: Producing Industry-Ready Biomedical Engineers


Capstone Design Courses: Producing Industry-Ready Biomedical Engineers



The biomedical engineering senior capstone design course is probably the most important course taken by undergraduate biomedical engineering students. It provides them with the opportunity to apply what they have learned in previous years; develop their communication (written, oral, and graphical), interpersonal (teamwork, conflict management, and negotiation), project management, and design skills; and learn about the product development process. It also provides students with an understanding of the economic, financial, legal, and regulatory aspects of the design, development, and commercialization of medical technology.

The capstone design experience can change the way engineering students think about technology, society, themselves, and the world around them. It gives them a short preview of what it will be like to work as an engineer. It can make them aware of their potential to make a positive contribution to health care throughout the world and generate excitement for and pride in the engineering profession. Working on teams helps students develop an appreciation for the many ways team members, with different educational, political, ethnic, social, cultural, and religious backgrounds, look at problems. They learn to value diversity and become more willing to listen to different opinions and perspectives. Finally, they learn to value the contributions of nontechnical members of multidisciplinary project teams. Ideas for how to organize, structure, and manage a senior capstone design course for biomedical and other engineering students are presented here. These ideas will be helpful to faculty who are creating a new design course, expanding a current design program to more than the senior year, or just looking for some ideas for improving an existing course.



Publication Date



Morgan & Claypool Publishers


San Rafael, CA


capstone design courses, career preparation, biomedical engineering design education, design projects, new product development process


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering Education



Purpose, Goals, and Benefits

1. Why Our Students Need a Senior Capstone Design Course

2. Desired Learning Outcomes

3. Changing Student Attitudes, Perceptions, and Awareness

4. Senior Capstone Design Courses and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Outcomes

II Designing a Course to Meet Student Needs

5. Course Management and Required Deliverables

5.1 Duration of Capstone Course

5.2 Structure and Sequence of Capstone Course

5.3 Faculty Involvement

5.4 Grading

5.5 Required Course Deliverables

5.6 Extracurricular Activities

6. Projects and Project Teams

7. Lecture Topics

8. Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Issues in Design Projects

III Enhancing the Capstone Design Experience

9. Industry Involvement in Capstone Design Courses

10. Developing Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy

11. Providing Students with a Clinical Perspective

12. Service Learning Opportunities

13. Collaboration With Industrial Design Students

14. National Student Design Competitions

14.1 Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Award

Capstone Design Courses

14.2 Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Medical Instrumentation National Student Design Competition

14.3 Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Undergraduate Student Design Competition

14.4 The Collegiate Inventors Competition

14.5 National Scholar Award for Workplace Innovation and Design

15. Organizational Support for Senior Capstone Design Courses

IV Meeting the Changing Needs of Future Engineers

16. Capstone Design Courses and the Engineer of 2020


Author Biography

Capstone Design Courses: Producing Industry-Ready Biomedical Engineers