About the Competition

This site provides the documents which describe the objectives and guidelines for Senior Design Competition in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. These guidelines will provide the faculty and their students with the necessary format for the development of the final report, oral presentation of the results, and the judging criteria. 

Senior Design Guidelines

    • To create an environment for the undergraduate students to identify an engineering and technical problem, conceptualize a solution methodology, formulate and solve the problem, and finally implement the results.
    • To nurture creativity of the students in analyzing and solving engineering and technical problems.
    • To create an environment to nurture a team approach to problem identification and solution.
    • To support the generation of engineering knowledge in the field that is relevant to the undergraduate student's technical need and field of study.
    • To become more effective in identifying the emerging technologies that could have major impact on their field of study and specialty.
    • To identify the top undergraduate students in the school of engineering.
    • To promote cross disciplinary projects and teamwork within the school of engineering.
    • Project reports will be submitted by the department to the coordinator in Winter term for review.
    • The result of the projects could be presented in form of:

      • A hardware prototype
      • Developed software
      • A functional part
      • A well developed plan
    • All design projects including the interdisciplinary design projects will be eligible for awards.
    • Each department will do the initial screening of the projects and submit top two projects to the school for competition consideration. The department may use an industrial committee for the selection of the top two projects.
    • The Senior Design Competition (SDC) would be in the morning and a display of all senior design projects and interdisciplinary design projects (SD/ID projects) would be in the afternoon.
    • Each department will enter two projects using its own selection process into the CECS SDC. A panel of judges will judge the eight presentations and select the following:
    • The first place SD/ID project and runner-up SD/ID project in each department
    • The first place and the runner up SD/IP projects for the college
    • The first place SD/ID team in each department will receive an award of $500. The second place SD/ID team in each department will receive an award of $250. The first place CECS SD/ID team will receive an additional award of $500 and the second place CECS SD/ID team will receive an additional award of $250. 
    • There will be no distinction made between the interdisciplinary projects and other design projects in the selection of a project for award. The quality of the final product will be the prime importance. However judges will be informed about the number of students on the project team and the number of credit hours granted for the project. It is acknowledged that interdisciplinary projects may have a better chance of winning an award.
    • An interdisciplinary project will be submitted by the home department of the faculty member who served as the director for the project.
    • A day will be set aside in April for judging for the awards. At least one student from each team must make a presentation.
    • A call for submitting projects for departmental screening will be sent out in early January. The projects may be submitted by faculty or by students
    • The report should be presented in accordance with the Report Format.
    • All projects should be presented. A project with no presentation is disqualified.
    • The competition is open to all faculty and not only the designated senior design faculty. It is the responsibility of the SDC coordinator, chairs, and the departmental coordinators to promote, encourage and manage the faculty participation.
  • Each senior design project report should be written in third person. Reports should be typed using Times Roman font size 12 and one and half space unless specified. The heading for each section must be bold. No italic letter must be used. The body of the report (Sections 4 to 10) should be five (5) to maximum ten (10) pages.  Download Poster Template.

    Design project title, the names of the team members and the faculty, the department, and the term in which the project was initiated (1 page)

    This is the first page of the report and it should provide the title of the project. The title of the project should be brief and technically valid (font size 14). The name of the team members, the supervising faculty, and the name of the department is also provided on this page. The term which the project was initiated is also identified.

    Project abstract

    A100 to 150 words summary of the project.

    Table of contents, illustrations, and tables

    This section provides the structure of the report and their respective page number. It should also include the list of the illustrations and tables.

    Introduction and statement of the design problem

    A general description of, and motivations for, the project are to be presented in this section. A discussion on the existing and/or alternative approaches to the project should be included in this section.

    Analysis and design

    This is a key element in the report. In this Section, the design is to be described, including, as relevant:

    • Methods used to achieve the design objectives
    •  Details of the design process
    • Experimentation and design alternatives
    • Final specifications of the design

    Results and Discussion

    Provide major results together with verification, validation and testing. Details on any prototype developed may be included in this section.  

    Ethics and Safety

    Students may provide statements about ethics and safety as related to their project.

    Cost Analysis

    The objective of this section is to provide a feasibility study for developing commercialization of the project.


    Brief conclusions of the project results.


    All the pertinent references used in the development of the report should be included. These references must also be identified in the body of the report (font size 10).       

    Biographical Sketch

    One page resume for each team member should be provided in Appendix and not included on the page count.

    Note 1: Senior design projects may be funded, if required, through the office of the Sponsored Research, the office of the Dean, or the home departments. It must be noted that a number of items can be provided free of charge or may already be available within a department. Students should consider this first before considering any purchase. The students must submit a budget and acknowledge the source of funds.

    Note 2: The Overall winning team will also present their project and/or poster at the CECS Showcase held the following Fall

  • Teams are expected to make a final presentation of their project. Presentations will be scheduled during the last week of each winter term. The presentations are scheduled for 30 minutes and are also used as judging criteria for the final score. The format for the presentations is selected by the team, which will allow them to choose their form and method of presenting the results. Any resources needed for the presentation may be requested from the coordinator. No video tape presentation is acceptable, but the result of the project may be shown using video tapes (e.g. Robotics motion for welding). 

    The team should coordinate with their faculty in developing the final presentation. The day and time of the presentations will be announced prior to the final presentations.

  • In order to provide a fair evaluation of the report, a set of criteria for the selection and ranking of projects is identified. These criteria will be provided to the reviewers and must be considered during the review process. Two reviewers will be selected from a pool of engineers within the local industries. The selection is done by the dean of the engineering and the senior design coordinator. The reviewers will select and rank the projects based on the following scale:

    • 1 Very Poor
    • 2-4 Poor
    • 5-7 Fair
    • 8-9 Very Good
    • 10 Excellent 
  • The final score is the sum of the scores assigned to each of the following criteria:

    1. Complexity : The degree of complexity associated with the problem.
    2. Originality : Uniqueness of the proposed solution.
    3. Performance : The technical soundness of the proposed solution; methodology and technology.
    4. Impact : How the work could result in gain of the necessary knowledge and experience for each of the students, individually and as a team.
    5. Merit : How the solution has met the goals set by the faculty and the design team.
    6. Team Approach : The system approach to the problem identification, breakdown, and resolution through teamwork.
    7. Report : The quality of the report and its degree of effectiveness in presenting the design issues; from problem identification, solution conceptualization and formulation, and finally the solution implementation.
    8. Presentation : The quality and the effectiveness of the presentation. This includes team presentation and system demonstration (hardware and/or software)