ECEn 490: Team-based Senior Design Project


The senior design experience is intended to be a culminating experience in your education as an engineer. In planning, designing, and executing your design project, you will be expected to bring together disparate pieces of knowledge that you have gained throughout your studies in the ECEn Department. In addition, you will be expected to gain a solid understanding of the "engineering method" of design. Your senior design experience will be very similar, in many respects, to "the real world." In contrast to other courses in this Department, there will be few fixed assignments and requirements. You will be expected to be self motivated and to pace yourself throughout the semester in order to complete your project. It is precisely for this reason that industrial recruiters will spend a good portion of interview time discussing your senior design experience.

As a result of your senior project, you will have new competencies in areas such as working in a team, communicating, and applying standard engineering design practices.

ECEn 490 Project Management Lectures

2013-2014 Projects

The senior project consists of taking ECEn 490 after taking some number of prerequisite preparatory courses. If you have questions about the content or prerequisites of a particular senior project, you should talk (or email) directly with one of the faculty advisors shown in the table below.

Project Prerequisites Availability Advisors Class Size
Optoelectronic Applications "Wirelessly Controlled Light Suits" ECEn 330 or ECEn 313 (340) Fall or Winter Hawkins, Wilde 10
3D Printing for Microfluidics None Fall or Winter Nordin 6
Robotic Vision ECEn 425, ECEn 427 or ECEn 483, C or C++ programming, VHDL Fall Lee 10
Microfluidic Integrated Detector and Analysis System None Fall Nordin 6
Smart Antenna Systems None Fall or Winter Warnick 4
Robot Soccer ECEn 425, ECEn 427 or ECEn 483, C or C++ programming, VHDL Winter Archibald, Beard 20
Laser Tag ECEn 313 (340), ECEn 380, and ECEn 320 or ECEn 324 Winter Hutchings, Schultz 10
ME 475(F, 3 credits) and ME 476(W, 3 credits)
ECEn 313 (340) and ECEn 380 Fall and Winter Contact Paula Harper (ME)

Discontinued Projects

Project Prerequisites Discontinued Advisors
Robot Racers ECEn 425, ECEn 427 or ECEn 483, C or C++ programming, VHDL 2013 Archibald, Wilde
Eglin AFB Campus Challenge (Aerial Robotics) None 2013 Beard, McLain
Microfluidic Impedance Spectroscopy Students with background in electromagnetics, fabrication experience, and numerical methods are encouraged to register for this project. 2013 Mazzeo, Warnick
Free Space Optical Communications System ECEn 452 or ECEn 443 2013 Hawkins, Schultz, Selfridge
Multi-Channel Data Acquisition for Radio Astronomy ECEn 380 and Programming Experience 2010 Jeffs, Warnick
Broadband Near Field Wireless Link 485 or 487 or 464 or 4xx level computer engineering courses with programming or FPGA. 2010 Warnick
Ancient Textual Imaging This senior project will develop an imaging system to enhance and read text on ancient documents. The system will be used by faculty in the College of Humanities as part of a major BYU program to capture images of papyrus scrolls and other documents stored in archives around the world. The project is interdisciplinary and open to both EE and CpE students with a variety of backgrounds in programming, embedded control, hardware design, and signal processing. 2010 Warnick
Autonomous Vehicle Vision ECEn 425, or ECEn 483 or ME 431 2009 Lee, Wilde
Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking ECEn 324, ECEn 380, ECEn 427 (preferred) 2009 Nelson
Space Center No specific class required, programming experience 2008 Long
Universal Auxillary Fuel System ECEn 313 Required, ECEn 443 or ECEn 445 preferred 2008 Comer
Embedded Systems ECEn 427, ECEn 425 or ECEn 451 2007 Nelson, Wirthlin
Software Radio Two of ECEn 485, ECEn 487, ECEn 460 2007 Rice, Jeffs
Mini-UAV Systems ECEn 483 or ECEn 425 2007 Beard, Taylor
Robot Soccer One of ECEn 483, ECEn 425, CS 470, or CS 550 2005 Archibald, Beard
Analog and Mixed Signal Circuits ECEn 313 and one of ECEn 443, ECEn 445, or ECEn 548 (any of the latter three may be taken concurrently) 2005 Comer
VLSI ECEn 451 2004 Manwaring
Solar Power ECEn 313 and one of ECEn 443, ECEn 445, or ECEn 450 2004 Petrie, Hawkins
Mini MRI ECEn 460 2004 Oliphant
Cooperative Decision Making Stat 441 or ECEn 493R,section 2 (probability theory) 2003 Stirling

ECEn 490 will consist of three or four lectures a week. All sections meet together during the business lectures. The different project sections then meet seperately with their advisors for the other lecture periods. Please consult the appropriate project home page for detailed meeting schedules. The business lectures will be devoted to teaching you the engineering design method.


Grades for ECEn 490 will be assigned by the faculty advisor supervising the particular project that you are involved in. Please see project home pages for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I have already completed my senior project requirement, and now I want to do a second project. Can I do that?

A: Yes you may. Your enthusiasm is admirable. You need to first ask permission of the project advisor, and then sign up for 3 credit hours of ECEn 493R, under his advisement. You do not have to retake the business lectures. The 3 credit hours you earn will count as technical electives.

Q: I have an idea for a senior project of my own. Can I do that instead?

A: First of all, you cannot work alone. It must be a faculty-advised, team-based project that is open to other students. To create a new senior project, you must find a faculty advisor who is willing to advise you and at least 3 other students on the project. He then can open a new section of ECEn 490 that you and your friends may enroll in. You will have to attend the sr. project business lectures as part of your ECEn 490 class, as well as meet with your advisor on a regular basis.

Q: I had an internship last summer. Can I count that as my senior project?

A: No.

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