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Florida Tech community: Please view the Florida Tech Safe website for important COVID-19 information and "Return to Learn" plan details.

College of Engineering and Science

Student Design And Research

COVID-19 Update from COES Student Design and Research

Due to current global events and new policies set in place to keep staff and students safe, all COES student design and research facilities are closed to students for the summer semester. Announcements on the fall 2020 semester reopening will be announced when more information is available.

Spring Semester Key Return: If you have keys to return to the L3HSDC and are still local to Melbourne FL, please contact Peter Zappala ( to schedule a time to return your keys to the facility. If you are not local and will not be returning do not worry, as the facility is waiving all key charges due to the current situation. If you would like to mail your keys in (which is not necessary) please send them to the below address:

Florida Institute of Technology

L3HSDC: Peter Zappala

150 W University Blvd

Melbourne, FL


Congratulations to all of the seniors who have recently completed their capstone projects, and we wish you all the best after graduation. To celebrate their work a virtual showcase has been designed and it can be found at the below link:

Northrup Grumman Virtual Student Design Showroom


What Is Student Design and Research?

Project-based learning through hands-on projects gives students a substantial understanding of their field and helps them acquire highly sought-after workplace skills like collaboration, communication and complex problem-solving.

During their senior year, students from the college of engineering and science participate in a capstone project to gain hands-on experience in applying engineering and science principles. Students organize into interdisciplinary teams to complete comprehensive projects in which they can apply the theoretical basis from their field.

Capstone projects simulate a real-world work environment in a variety of engineering and science fields. The students apply theory, think creatively and develop practical skills such as teamwork, professionalism, and leadership.  

Project-based capstone projects...

  • Teaches interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Applies learned engineering and science skills and knowledge
  • Shows how engineering, science, and business interact in professional environments
  • Creates better engineers and scientists, ready for work and graduate school
  • Encourages future research and innovation
  • Makes science and engineering fun

as part of their capstone experience, students...

  • Participate in team goal setting
  • Develop a plan to attain goals
  • Conduct research
  • Develop leadership by leading their own teams
  • Understand team interdependencies
  • Develop a winning attitude

Student Design and Research Showcase

Student design and research projects culminate with the Northrop Grumman Engineering & Science Student Design Showcase at Florida Tech, an annual event during which student teams present their work and field questions from their peers, faculty members, industry professionals and local leaders.

In 2009, a $1 million endowment gift from Northrop Grumman Corporation provided ongoing support for Florida Tech students’ work. Sponsorships from other local and national companies also assist. These gifts reflect a commitment to boosting interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and the value of learning beyond the classroom.

Information for Students

Important Dates & Deadlines


Project Registration


Budget Report


Safety Plan Approval


Last Day to Check in at Design Facilities


Last Day to Submit Requisitions


Last Day to work on your project (at COES facilities)


Project Deliverable Handover and Check Out




Showcase Registration


Exhibit Requirements Submission


Poster Submission


E-Book Page Submission


Preliminary Exhibit Inspection 


Exhibit Setup 


NGC Student Design Showcase 


Exhibit Take Down 


No late submissions or corrections will be accepted after the deadline. The deadlines are there to ensure that everything is proper on showcase day.All deadlines listed above are firm

  • Standard setup space for all projects will be one 4ft by2ft table and 1 poster hangers, please complete the exhibit requirements document if your exhibit includes fluids,live animals , public interaction, demonstrations,  or requires additional space, or  electrical outlets
    • A sample table is available at the L3HSDC for inspection
    • Any special exhibit requirements need to be put in the exhibits requirement document
  • The poster and eBook templates will be distributed to all the teams. Please follow all the guidelines listed in the templates.
    • Any documents not following the proper template will be rejected.
    • If you require any assistance or have any queries, please contact the Office of Student Projects at the L3HSDC.
  • For more information about the showcase please visit: Student Design Website

Capstone Coaches

The capstone coaches program was established in 2017 to help prepare students for a global, interconnected workforce by connecting them to experienced mentors in their field who serve as coaches during their senior design projects.

Coaches are notable members of industry, executive officers from engineering companies and outstanding members of the Florida Tech community. Coaches offer real-world experiences and expertise in the development of engineering projects, as well as valuable lessons that they can share with our students. The Capstone Coaches are there to assist the student team as appropriate towards the successful execution of their projects, while at the same time, giving them an opportunity to work with expert engineers, leaders, and project managers.

The Capstone Coaches program has two distinct goals. The first is to add dimension to the students’ academic experience; by interacting with successful members of the industry, the students will be better suited for innovative work in the industry. The second goal is to enhance the relationship between industry and engineering education so that our programs are responsive to industry needs.