Course Information

CPR E / E E / S E 491: Senior Design Project I and Professionalism. (2-3) Cr. 3. Prereq: varies by major
Preparing for entry to the workplace. Selected professional topics. Use of technical writing skills in developing project plan and design report; design review presentation. First of two-semester team-oriented, project design and implementation experience.

CPR E / E E / S E 492: Senior Design Project II. (1-3) Cr. 2. Prereq: CPR E 491, E E 491, or S E 491
Second semester of a team design project experience. Emphasis on the successful implementation and demonstration of the design completed in 491 and the evaluation of project results. Technical writing of final project report; oral presentation of project achievements; project poster.

Course Objectives

The ECpE senior design sequence has several objectives, including:

  • To provide students with an engaging, challenging and safe environment to exercise hands-on synthesis of knowledge learned through coursework and elsewhere.
  • To provide compelling real-world engineering problems that require students to apply their mathematical, scientific, and engineering background.
  • To engage students in diverse and often multiplidisciplinary teams in order to help develop their communication and management skills.
  • To provide a closely-supervised, complete design process, structured to replicate the industrial design process.
  • To assist students in clearly identifying, formulating, and solving problems inherent in the design process, using state-of-the-art methods, engineering techniques, and tools.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to exercise meaningful experimental design, data acquisition, and analysis.
  • To broaden students understanding of intellectual property, professional responsibility, engineering standards, ethics, and contemporary issues.

Many of these objectives for 491 and 492 map closely to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria for engineering program accreditation. As part of the ABET accreditation process, programs must have documented student outcomes that prepare graduates to attain their program's educational objectives. Student outcomes are (a) through (k) listed below in addition to any outcomes that may be articulated by the program:

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


    Student Expectations: at the very minimum, it is expected that each student will:

    • Read all assigned material.
    • Actively participate in class discussions.
    • Satisfactorily complete all graded work.
    • Participate fully in team interactions.
    • Complete all work with an acceptable level of quality.
    • Complete and submit evaluations for your team, advisor, and instructor.
    • Follow university policy on integrity of scholarship and grades.

    Also, in general keep the following in mind:

    • You are required to access the course home page for relevant and timely information throughout the term.
    • Attendance in class and instructor meetings is required. Please make sure that you do not indulge in disruptive behavior.
    • Safety in the senior design and other labs is a number one priority for students and faculty. It is expected that students follow any and all posted safety guidelines. For reference, a copy of the University Laboratory Safety Manual can be found here.
    • Posting on Canvas is an effective way to communicate with the instructors. Use email for more sensitive communication.


    • Some of your work is done in groups and some individually. Individual assignments must be exclusively your work. Academic dishonesty will be dealt with harshly per University regulations, and all students are to adhere to the University's policy relating to integrity of scholarship and grades as presented in the Catalog (available here).
    • The following grading calculation will be used for Cpr E/E E/S E 491 (100% total) in Fall 2022:
      • 40%: Class activities
        • 5%: Bi-weekly status reports
        • 15%: Class and reflection assignments
        • 5%: Lightening talks
        • 5%: Class participation - this semester after each talk - a talk awareness question would be assigned
        • 15%: Design document
      • 35%: Advisor grading of individual student contributions to the project
      • 25%: Final project review, performed by a faculty panel
    • The following grading calculation will be used for Cpr E/E E/S E 492 (100% total) in Fall 2023:
      • 30%: Instructor score
        • 10%: Group progress/issues reports
        • 5%: Final report and project quality
        • 5%: Poster
        • 10%: Peer/Instructor Review Meetings
      • 35%: Advisor grading of individual student contributions to the project
      • 35%: Final project review, performed by an industry panel

    Other Policies:

    • Free Expression: Iowa State University supports and upholds the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and the principle of academic freedom in order to foster a learning environment where open inquiry and the vigorous debate of a diversity of ideas are encouraged. Students will not be penalized for the content or viewpoints of their speech as long as student expression in a class context is germane to the subject matter of the class and conveyed in an appropriate manner.
    • Disability Accommodation: Iowa State University is committed to assuring that all educational activities are free from discrimination and harassment based on disability status. All students requesting accommodations are required to meet with staff in Student Disability Resources (SDR) to establish eligibility. A Notification Letter form will be provided to eligible students. The provision of reasonable accommodations in this course will be arranged after timely delivery of the Notification Letter to the instructor. Students are encouraged to deliver Notification Letters as early in the semester as possible. SDR, a unit in the Dean of Students Office, is located in room 1076, Student Services Building or online at Contact SDR by e-mail at or by phone at 515-294-7220 for additional information.
    • Prep Week Policy: This class follows the Iowa State University Prep Week policy as noted in section 10.6.4 of the Faculty Handbook available here.
    • Harassment and Discrimination: Iowa State University strives to maintain our campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students that is free of all forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment based upon race, ethnicity, sex (including sexual assault), pregnancy, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or status as a U.S. veteran. Any student who has concerns about such behavior should contact his/her instructor, Student Assistance at 515-294-1020 or email, or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 515-294-7612.
    • Religious Accommodation: If an academic or work requirement conflicts with your religious practices and/or observances, you may request reasonable accommodations. Your request must be in writing, and your instructor or supervisor will review the request. You or your instructor may also seek assistance from the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance.
    • Contact Information: If you are experiencing, or have experienced, a problem with any of the above issues, email