March 2014

Letter from the Editor

Lal TummalaLal Tummala, San Diego State University

Accreditation of undergraduate engineering programs requires that each graduating student goes through a culminating design experience based on the skills and knowledge acquired in earlier courses. They are also required to demonstrate their ability to work in an interdisciplinary and/or intra-disciplinary environment, be able to develop strong individual and group communication and presentation skills in both written and verbal forms and also be aware of ethical issues in the workplace to name a few. Universities offer courses at the senior level to achieve many of these objectives and are usually labeled Capstone design or senior design courses. 

This issue presents two articles describing how this is implemented at ECE Departments at San Diego State University and University of Waterloo. Many of the projects at these institutions are sponsored by local companies. As the universities move towards turning these innovative projects into commercial products through their entrepreneurial centers, the question about the ownership of the intellectual property becomes a debatable issue. The faculty at the University of Waterloo implemented a method to address this issue.

We would like to hear from others on this topic as well as the implementation of culminating design experience.

Lal Tummala
Professor & Chairman, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
San Diego State University              

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