ECE 4806 Senior Design Project | ECE | Virginia Tech

Undergraduate PROGRAMS

Course Information


Industry-like two-semester, team-based major design experience applying knowledge and skills acquired in previous coursework. Design and implement solutions to meet multiple realistic constraints; design to incorporate appropriate engineering standards. A specific, complex engineering design problem is taken from problem definition to product realization and testing. Within the design process, topics include written/oral communication, discourse, ethical reasoning, professional development, project management, and working within a team.Implement and refine project design from ECE 4805. Test, analyze, document, and deliver the resulting project outcomes.

Why take this course?

Providing solutions to open-ended design problems to meet customer needs within realistic constraints is the primary function of all engineering. The ECE Major Design Experience course sequence provides a culminating design experience in which students apply, synthesize, and extend knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work. Within the context of a practical design experience, the course includes further development and application of professional engineering skills. This integrative, practical experience prepares students to succeed as a professional engineer as well as for pursuit of an advanced engineering degree. Due to interaction with a specified customer and the long-term design team concept, this sequence must be taken in a consecutive two semester sequence.

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Implement an engineering design solution incorporating appropriate engineering standards and verify the performance against the problem requirements and constraints (ABET 1, 3)
  • 2. Make informed judgments by recognizing ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations using codes of ethics and considering the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts (ABET 2, 3, 4) [Discourse 2; Ethical Reasoning 2,3]
  • 3. Develop and present oral and written technical reports and presentations for a range of audiences (ABET 3) [Discourse 5]
  • 4. Review and revise written and oral communication with peer and instructor critique (ABET 3) [Discourse 4]
  • 5. Maintain and update design documents, schedules, budgets, and reports as part of a design, build and test process
  • 6. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives (ABET 5)
  • 7. Build, integrate, and test the developed solution effectively as part of a design team on a realistic, complex engineering project
  • 8. Acquire and apply new knowledge, as needed, using appropriate learning strategies, including evaluation of the accuracy and trustworthiness of information (ABET 3, 7)

Course Topics



Percentage of Course

1. Implement the Design 20%
2. Characterize subsystem and system performance relative to design specifications 10%
3. Test & Validate 20%
4. Maintain a Project Plan (Work Breakdown Structure, Schedule, Cost) as part of a team 10%
5. Teamwork 10%
6. Professional and Ethical Development 10%
7. Technical Communications: written and oral 20%