ECE Capstone Client FAQs

The Capstone course is an opportunity for students to finish their undergraduate engineering degrees by applying their knowledge and skill to solve a design problem unique to your organization.  While Capstone clients benefit directly from the results of the student project, this is above all a learning experience for our students.

Well done! Your project proposal has a significant design component and is well scoped for our students’ abilities. Expect to receive an email with instructions on how to pitch your project to the Capstone students. Project pitches will take place on Sept 9th and 14th starting at 3:30 pm. After the project pitches students will bid on projects and the Capstone team will form teams based on the students’ choices. We’ll notify you on whether we were able to match your project to a team by Sept 17th.

IP agreements and ND agreements with Capstone students must use the standard templates (with no amendments) found on our course website. Please get these agreements pre-signed by your legal team BEFORE you are awarded a team if possible. If your legal team rejects the UBC templates, then you have the option to modify the project so that IP is not required, or withdraw the project before a student team is assigned. Organizations requiring an IP agreement and where the client is also an employee of UBC will need to be reviewed by UBC for conflict of interest (COI) issues. The COI review can take place while the project is running. Contact your team’s supervising instructor and the Capstone coordinator (Paul Lusina, capstones@ece.ubc.ca) if this applies to you.

Congratulations! Your proposal attracted enough student interest for us to form a team. Your team is assigned a supervising instructor, and TA. Everyone will receive your contact information. Your team should get in touch with you by Sept 22nd. Your team’s supervising instructor will also introduce them self. For questions about the course or any concerns, the supervising instructor is your first point of contact. You’re always welcome to contact the course coordinator (Paul Lusina, capstones@ece.ubc.ca).

Changing your project based on new information, the skill set of your Capstone team, or to reduce risk are typical reasons why some Capstone clients want to change their project. In Capstone, the first 6 weeks of the course focuses on drafting the project proposal. This is where you and your student team can revise the scope of your proposal. The supervising instructor will ensure that the resulting document defines a project that meets the course requirements. Changes after the proposal deadline can also be negotiated with your Capstone team. The supervising instructor will check that revisions maintain the course academic requirements, while respecting student workload.

Your primary responsibility is to help your team understand your problem so that they can build a prototype to solve it. The form of this support is unique to your project and team. As a minimum we expect you to work with your team to define the project proposal due in mid-October and provide feedback on their prototype and documents at each of the four course milestones. All grading will be taken care of by our instructional team – clients do not give marks. Your team is your point of contact and they should proactively communicate what support they need. As always, the project’s supervising instructor will give guidance to you and the team when needed.

In the Capstone course, your role is not to manage students. One of the great learning outcomes is that student teams are given a problem that they have to manage themselves. The team’s supervising instructor and TA help them navigate the technical and non-technical expectations of the project. You are expected to provide support for your student teams as it relates to your project. If your project requires specialized skills not normally taught in an electrical or computer engineering undergraduate degree, then you should share this information if you are able. You are also welcome to invite students to regularly scheduled meetings with your team. You are required to supervise students if you invite them to meet or work in your facilities. If you have questions about how to interact with your Capstone team, the first step is to discuss it with them. The team’s supervising instructor is available to offer guidance to both you and your team.

Interaction with you and your organization is a key part of what makes Capstone so exciting and we encourage in-person engagement if possible. To visit your facility, students need to receive an invitation from you describing their activities and any supervision, safety measures or training that you’ll provide. Students will include this information as a part of their project safety plan which is reviewed by their supervising instructor. Contact the supervising instructor if you have any questions.

There is no requirement for you to interact in-person with our students. In delivering the course, UBC will as a minimum follow all BC health guidelines around COVID-19. In addition, we’ll support our students in managing their personal risk in the context of the course and their team. Our support will consider the students, client and teaching staff and focus on safety, fairness and academic integrity. If you have any questions, please contact the course coordinator (Paul Lusina, capstones@ece.ubc.ca).

Thank you for supporting our students! By the end of the project, you will receive all items on the list of project deliverables you’ve defined with your team. For example: prototype, documentation, and any artifacts specific by the project. Our expectation is that you can pick up where your team left off to continue developing their solution. By signing off on the list of deliverables at the end of the course you formally end the Capstone project. We’ll invite you to fill out a Capstone Client Exit survey so we can find out how we did. You’ll also be added to our Capstone Contacts list so you won’t miss our call for proposals next year.

Your project was selected because it had some new or novel design challenge. We recognize that this can result in issues requiring unplanned knowledge, skills or budget resources. Your team should work with you to identify resource gaps and then they should approach the supervising instructor. The ECE department and the Faculty of Applied Science’s network of staff and faculty may have a solution. For strictly financial project support beyond the $650 Capstone project budget, we ask that your organization provide some or all of the additional expense if this is possible. The only resource we cannot provide is time. The projects must be finished by the end of term in April.

You should first direct your questions to your student team. If they don’t know the answer, they should be able to find the information for you. The next person to contact is the supervising instructor. They are familiar with the project, meet regularly with the team and are familiar with the administration of the course. If in doubt, please contact the course coordinator Paul Lusina (capstones@ece.ubc.ca).

Course Timeline

 September – 1stweek of classClients pitch their project to students.  
 Mid-SeptemberStudent teams formed and clients are contacted
End of Milestone 1Mid-OctoberProject proposals due.  Client and instructor feedback
End of Milestone 2Early DecemberDesign review 1 due.  Client and instructor feedback
End of Milestone 3Mid-FebruaryDesign review 2 due.  Client and instructor feedback.
End of Milestone 4Early AprilProduct review due.  Client and instructor feedback
 Early April Design and Innovation Day public showcase hosted by APSC
 Mid-AprilClient receives all project deliverables and signs-off on the project.