Throughout students’ junior and senior years, they are involved in class and senior projects. Students are assigned open-ended projects requiring invention and design to meet specifications. Many students work one-on-one with professors during this process.
Students who wish to publish or present their research results may do so in several forums. One of these is the annual Math, Engineering, and Science Conference on Undergraduate Research (MESCON), which is a regional conference held on UE’s campus each spring. There is also a national conference for undergraduate research, a paper contest at the IEEE southeastern spring meeting, and a regional undergraduate research conference at Butler University.
Most courses at the junior and senior level involve semester-long projects. Many projects require teamwork. For example, in the microcontroller course (Electrical Engineering 454) students typically design and construct a system requiring a real-time microcontroller. In the communication electronics course (Electrical Engineering 440), students design complete communication systems.
Most of the student projects use the device currently being studied in class in their design, since they will be using the device and related sensors throughout their education.
During the senior year, every student is required to complete a year-long senior design project that is often sponsored by industry. During the first semester, the student writes a proposal and does a preliminary design. A review process and a formal presentation of the ideas and concepts is required. During the second semester, the student completes the design and constructs a final product.
Students create a physical product to demonstrate mastery of a skill. Often, a minimum amount of tracked contact time with a guiding mentor is required for this portion. The senior project is adaptable to a student’s capabilities, meaning that the requirements will be flexible. It is up to the student and the advisor to decide whether a project meets the requirements of the class.