Sternheimer Awards

  • Funded by Mr. Mark Sternheimer, major benefactor and Foundation Board member
  • Awarded to projects exhibiting outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Highly prestigious – last year 8 out of 30 teams that applied received awards
  • Excellent opportunity for experience, guidance and exposure
  • Judged by representatives from companies in the Greater Richmond area
  • Winning teams showcase their team and projects to professionals in the engineering field prior to the Expo.
  • Teams with School of Business Entrepreneurship students are encouraged to apply as the large Engineering / Business project team.

VCU College of Engineering Foundation Mark A. Sternheimer, Sr. Design Award Grant Application Process and Timeline

The VCU College of Engineering Foundation is pleased to invite teams to apply for the Mark A. Sternheimer Senior Capstone Design Award.  The Sternheimer Award was established in 2012 by Mr. Sternheimer with the intent of promoting innovative and entrepreneurial projects.

Sternheimer Award applications are judged by a committee of representatives from companies in the region and beyond. In addition to potential funding, teams are provided a unique opportunity to showcase their team and projects to professionals in the engineering field prior to the Expo.

The timeline and details for each step of the Sternheimer Award application process are listed below:  

Friday, October 12, 2018

A one-page proof of concept paper that includes the following is due by 12 noon.

  • A summary of the project & its purpose.
  • A summary of the innovative nature of the project and/or how it furthers research on a particular topic.
  • A statement on how the project positively impacts the world in which we live.
  • Signatures, emails, and phone numbers for of all members of the team and the faculty advisor.

Papers should be provided in .pdf format and emailed to Dr Ben Ward. Director Project Outreach, at

Friday, October 26, 2018

Teams selected (Finalists) to continue in the granting process will be contacted.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Sign up due for your presentation time choices.


Monday, November 12, 2018

A completed application packet that includes the following is due by 12 noon.

  • (1 page limit): A detailed project abstract that also includes the title of your project, names of team members and their department affiliation(s), and name of faculty advisor(s).  The abstract must coherently describe the project, its purpose, and the methodology for project completion.
  • (1 page limit): A line item budget that reflects all expenses related to the completed project.  
  • Suggested but not required (1 page limit):  Any supplementary materials or images that help describe your project.

Applications should be provided in .pdf format and emailed to Dr Ben Ward at


Thursday, November 15

PowerPoint files are to be emailed to Dr Ben Ward at no later than 12 noon.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Finalists will present to the Sternheimer Award selection committee (details on time, location, etc. to be provided closer to the date).  Presentations should use the following guidelines:

  • Last no longer than 5 minutes.  There will be 3 minutes added for questions and answers.
  • No handouts will be allowed.  Any supplemental material should be shared via a PowerPoint as part of the presentation.  PowerPoint files should be brought to the presentation on a thumb drive.
  • Professional dress is encouraged.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Sternheimer Award winners will be notified.

Late or incomplete papers/applications will not be considered.

Questions?  Please contact Dr Ben Ward, Director Project Outreach, VCU College of Engineering, Room 344, West Hall Engineering -