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The Capstone Expo takes place Friday, April 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Siegel Center
The Capstone Expo takes place Friday, April 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Siegel Center

Students Present Innovative Prototypes at Annual VCU Engineering Design Expo

The School of Engineering presents its annual Capstone Design Expo, which showcases engineering and business students’ innovative research and design prototypes.

The event will be held Friday, April 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St. Awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m. The expo is free and open to the public.

The Capstone Design course teaches leadership, teamwork and design skills in a collaborative environment and provides students the opportunity to develop and complete projects that may lead to product innovation for the benefit of society. Each year in the fall semester, student teams can compete for additional financial support for their projects through a generous gift from Mark A. Sternheimer.

“The Senior Capstone Design experience is a critical component of engineering education.  It brings together all of the course work and lessons learned during internships and engagement in community service and  teaches students to work in teams to solve problems,” said Barbara Boyan, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Engineering and Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair.  “VCU’s Capstone Design teams also work with business school students to determine how best to translate their innovations into commercializable products.  We are immensely grateful to Mr. Sternheimer for making it possible to invest resources in these innovations and to our industry colleagues for serving as judges.”

Among this year’s projects and prototypes are a smart birdhouse that gathers data for conservation efforts, a safer (and greener) refrigeration system that uses magnetic cooling technology instead of conventional compressors and a more efficient encapsulation machine for production of pharmaceutical soft gel capsules. See the full list of projects.

A number of Vertically Integrated Project (VIP@VCU) teams will also be present at the expo. These are larger teams of undergraduate and graduate students from multiple disciplines whose long-term projects address complex needs in medical, engineering development and environmental areas.

Sponsors of this year’s expo include corporations, nonprofits and health sciences organizations.