Capstone Projects

Pictured are members of FloRA, a SEE Capstone group whose mission is to design and build a rain garden that will assist in restoring the natural rainwater cycle of the environment.

All undergraduate students enrolled in SFU’s Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) Bachelor of Applied Science program must complete a team-based Capstone project in the final years of their study. The students are required to complete the engineering design of a sustainable energy or a closely related problem and implement its proof-of-concept or a prototype. The solutions developed by students focus on sustainability approaches and integrate business, social and economic aspects. The students also focus on project management, technical writing skills, and teamwork skills and strategies within the context of the engineering design project.

How Does it Work?

The capstone project takes place over the course of two, four-month terms; the first term (SEE 410W) focuses on developing the detailed engineering design, while the second term (SEE 411) focuses on its implementation. Student teams work with industry partners to provide innovative solutions to real-world problems. These courses provide students with an opportunity to integrate and put into practice the technical and soft skills they have learned throughout their degree.

Capstone projects fall into one of the following three categories, each serving a distinct client:

  • External Projects: Sponsored by an industrial, public, or organizational partner, aiming to solve a specific design problem; it is anticipated that the client will fund the costs associated with project design and implementation.
  • Internal Projects: These are projects support by a SEE faculty member as part of their ongoing research activities. It is anticipated that the faculty member would provide the requisite funding and instructions to the students.
  • Student-Led Projects: Student teams may also devise their own project based, in consultation with the instructor. SEE will provide some financial support, subject to availability of funds (please see below for more details).

Information for Students

Over the two terms, students are expected to identify team member roles and work independently with the support of the course instructor and teaching assistant. Students are in the driving seat and are encouraged to take personal ownership as this is a real-world research and design opportunity. Students will gain efficient project and time management skills, as well as written and oral communication skills.

Students are expected to form their teams and select a project together ahead of the start of the semester, see the important dates below. The preferred student group size is 4 students (teams of either 3 or 5 students can be accepted under exceptional circumstances). If you are unable to join or form a team, please email the course instructor with your project choice, and you will be formed into teams or added to teams.  Note that if an individual is assigned to your team by an instructor, you do not have the right to refuse this assignment.

Capstone Pre-requisites: 100 units, 2 completed co-op terms, SEE 310, SEE 100, SEE 101W. SEE 411 must be taken in the term directly following the successful completion of SEE 410W. Teams formed for the capstone project will be maintained for both SEE 410W and SEE 411. Grades awarded in SEE 410W are conditional on the successful completion of SEE 411 in the subsequent term. SEE students cannot take MSE 410, MSE 411, ENSC 405W or ENSC 440 for credit.

Note: You are not permitted to take SEE 410W or 411 if you are on a co-op placement.

SEE 410W – Sustainable Energy Design Project I

Focuses on project management, technical writing skills, and teamwork skills and strategies within the context of an engineering design project. Documentation includes project proposal, project management plan, design concept, and detail design providing functional and design specifications. Interim project reports and a final group presentation is required.

SEE 411 – Sustainable Energy Design Project II

Students synthesize their learning across the SEE program to research, design, build and test the hardware implementation of a working system. Includes a shop training workshop, engineering standards on how to design for safety, and human factors. A final report and presentation is required, in addition to development of a prototype or proof-of-concept.

Important Dates (Fall 2024)

Submission of Student-Led Project (including with industry partners approached by students) proposals to instructors

July 8, 2024

Info Session by Instructors 
(3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at SRYE 2016)

View info session slides here

July 11, 2024 

A list of available projects posted on the website

 July 29, 2024 

Capstone student social event

August 2, 2024 (Tentative)

Email project selection and team to instructor

  August 19, 2024  

Project and team approval by instructor

  September 2, 2024 

Available Projects for Fall 2024: TBD

Completed Projects in Spring 2024:

Completed Projects in Spring 2023:

Information for Student-led Projects

SEE will provide limited financial support to teams that are undertaking student-led projects. The disbursement of this financial support is subject to the policies and procedures set out in the document: Process for SEE 411 Project Expense Claim Submission. The template for the expense claim form can be downloaded here.

Information for Industry and Community Partners

Industry and community partners play a key role in SFU’s Sustainable Energy Engineering capstone projects. The industry/community partner will work with the course instructor to develop an engineering problem that is appropriate and feasible for the SEE undergraduate students. Each industry/community partner must commit to the full eight months of the capstone project and continue engagement with the student team during this period. This engagement entails identifying a contact person who will be involved in the project design process and respond to queries from the student team. The student interaction also includes two client meetings each term and attending a final presentation at the end of each term.

The students are required to identify team member roles and work independently with the support of the course instructor and teaching assistant. Therefore, no direct supervision of students is required by the industry/community partner. The student teams are required to prepare several engineering design presentations and reports throughout the first term showing their step-by-step design process. In the second term, the student teams implement their design to create either a prototype or a proof-of-concept application, duly supported by documentation such as user manuals and other design documents.

The overall project costs will vary for each project, and the industry/community partner is expected to cover the cost of materials and supplies for a prototype or proof-of- concept, if applicable. The industry/community partner may also be asked to cover any travel costs incurred by students (e.g., site visits).

Student teams have access to well-equipped, state-of-the-art science laboratory and workshop facilities to meet project requirements:

  • Machine shop (manual and CNC machining)
  • Rapid prototyping (3D printing)
  • Capstone lab
  • Dedicated project assembly and testing spaces
  • Technician support
  • Faculty member consultation/support

View the student fees associated with Fabricating Services at SRYE.

If you are interested in partnering with the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering or would like more information, please contact the course instructor.

Contact Information

For more information about SEE capstone projects, forming a team, or partnership opportunities, please contact the course instructor:

Mina Xu

Manpreet Kaur