In the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, the Senior Engineering Project (GE 494) is the capstone experience for undergraduates.
Teams composed of three to four students and a faculty advisor solve real-world problems submitted by industry partners, who not only fund the projects, but also work closely with each team. In this remarkable collaboration of education and industry, students take the lead on the research.
The results are documented in a final written report and a formal presentation to the company; either the students solve the problem the company gives them or demonstrate that it cannot be solved. Many teams have seen their solutions implemented, increasing productivity and profitability at the sponsoring companies.
Our Senior Engineering Project Laboratory simulates the working environment and resources a young engineer would find in a corporate engineering environment.
First implemented at Illinois in 1968, emulated by other universities and now a standard practice across all accredited engineering schools, the Senior Engineering Project is part of the legacy of the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at Illinois. Our Senior Engineering Project class was used to set national accreditation standards for all Senior Engineering Project management courses.
The Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering continues to attract real projects from large and small companies, which have included McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, Dow Agrosciences, Monsanto, and General Electric. Illinois Senior Engineering Projects continue to win many awards, including Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation Awards.
The Senior Engineering Project is where students put it all together—knowledge, skills, creativity; and abilities to lead, contribute as an individual, and work as a team. The value to our students of organizing, executing, and completing a real-world engineering project for an established company is extraordinary, and makes our graduates attractive to employers.