Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP)
The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program provides undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in multiyear, multidisciplinary, team-based projects under the guidance of faculty and graduate students in their areas of expertise. Undergraduate students can earn technical elective or free elective course credits (depending on major) for working on specific research projects with other undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, in their research labs. This is a valuable team-based learning experience on cutting-edge topics that will greatly enhance your resume when applying for jobs or graduate school.
The Capstone Design course at the College of Engineering of Virginia Commonwealth University is meant to be the climax of every engineering student’s undergraduate education. As a prerequisite to attaining a Bachelor’s degree, the Capstone Design course presents each student with the challenge of working in a team to tackle actual engineering problems within and across the fields of Chemical and Life Science, Mechanical and Nuclear, Biomedical, Electrical, and Computer Engineering and Science. A significant real-world aspect arises from opportunities presented to our students from the industrial community as well as other VCU schools – in particular the health sciences.
In all cases, teams learn and apply the engineering design process: defining functional requirements, conceptualization, analysis, identifying risks and countermeasures, selection, prototyping and testing. At the end of the two semester course in April, the student teams present their work to the sponsors, faculty, students, invited guests and the general public at the Capstone Design Expo, held at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia. Not only do they have the chance to display actual working models and prototypes, but they also compete for awards and prizes.