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Information at a Glance


Prof. C.V. Hollot (

Prof. Baird Soules (


Mon 4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.*, Hasbrouck Lab, Rm 124


24/7 .*, Marcus 10/12



Course web site:

Course Description and Objectives

This syllabus covers a two-course sequence that forms the ECE Senior Design Project:

  • ECE 415: The course requires students to work in small design teams to solve a significant engineering problem. Students develop, design, and implement a solution to the engineering problem in conjunction with a faculty advisor. The course reinforces principles of the engineering design process and serves as a capstone for electrical and computer engineering knowledge obtained in the ECE curriculum. The consideration of the ethical and social implications of technology and the basic concepts of business are also aspects of the course. Each student design team is expected to present information related to their project in both written and oral formats. Preliminary paper design is followed by implementation in the lab using digital and analog hardware design techniques and through software engineering. It is expected that a complete or partially working system will be demonstrated at the end of the course. Satisfies the Integrative Experience requirement for BS-CSENG and BS-EE majors.
    Prerequisites: ECE 324 or ECE 354. For EE and CSE majors only.
  • ECE 416: Continuation of ECE 415. Design of small computer/electronic system built, refined, tested, and demonstrated. Final prototype is shown to meet initial specifications at final design review presentation.
    Prerequisite: ECE 415.

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Apply engineering design principles to formulate problem statement, analyze requirements and produce a system-level block diagram.
  2. Prototype an electronic and/or software system to meet given specifications.
  3. Integrate knowledge from across the core CSE or EE curriculum.
  4. Take a systems approach to problem solving.
  5. Work productively in a team environment.
  6. Effectively communicate technical ideas and concepts.

SDP20 Personnel

Course Coordinators:

  • C.V. Hollot
    Marcus Building, room 201F
  • Baird Soules Senior Lecturer II Director of Experiental Learning Marcus Hall Room 5J

SDP Technician:

  • Francis Caron
    Marcus Hall, room 9A
    Hours: Mon – Fri, 8:00 A.M. –– 4:00 P.M.

Course Deliverables

ECE 415 and ECE 416 require the preparation of several deliverables including:

  • Slide Decks: from PDR, MDR, CDR, FPR
  • Reports: draft report, midway report, and final report
  • Project Website: up-to-date information on project and design documents
  • Review Presentations
  • Poster for SDP Day demo
  • System Prototype

More details on each deliverable will be provided in class. See the schedule for dates and deadlines.


The creating of all documents is to be a team effort. You are encouraged to work closely with your advisor on these assignments, but remember that you, not your advisor, are responsible for them.

  • Title and Abstract: You are asked to prepare a statement of the problem for the project you have chosen.
  • System Specifications: You are asked to prepare a requirements specification for the project you have chosen.
  • Block Diagram: You are asked to prepare a block diagram of a system that meets the specifications in the requirements specification document. A general description of how the system works should accompany the block diagram.
  • Midway Report: One of the main deliverables of your project is a technical report that contains all the information on design, design tradeoffs, analysis results, implementation details, etc. You are required to develop this report over several iterations. Each submission has to adhere to the style and formatting guidelines provided in class. Your midway report should describe the methods that your group will use to develop your project and demonstrate the feasibility of each technique.
  • Final Report: The final report should define the problem you have solved, explain how you solved the problem, and demonstrate the performance of your solution.


Design review presentations are the main mechanism for evaluating progress in SDP. The twofold purpose of design reviews is for the team to gain experience in presenting their work and to receive feedback from the Faculty Review Board. Each team member participates in the preparation and delivery of the presentation. There are several review presentations scheduled during the year. Details on the process of each review will be provided in class.

  • Preliminary Design Review (PDR): The PDR presentation in early fall should cover the project’s problem statement, requirement specifications, system-level block diagram and project specifications, as well as the team’s proposed MDR prototype specifications. The advisor and Faculty Review Board may suggest modifications to the proposed MDR prototype specifications at the PDR.
  • Midway Design Review (MDR): MDR takes place before the Faculty Review Board and the team advisor near the end of fall semester (see schedule). The hardware and/or software prototype presented should demonstrate that the chosen design path is likely to lead to a completed project in April which meets or exceeds the project specifications.
  • Comprehensive Design Review (CDR): At CDR, teams present the final design that has been chosen for prototyping to the review board. It is expected the all design decisions have been completed and can be justified at this point. The prototype at the CDR should demonstrate all major functionality of the finished project.
  • Final Project Review (FPR): At FDR, teams present their completed system and its functionality. Teams should lay out how the prototyped software/hardware meets project specifications.

Other required presentations are the following:

  • SDP Day: Senior Design Project Day is when each project is presented to your colleagues in the college of engineering. Teams present their final prototype with posters as presentation aids. Teams are judged for their overall accomplishments and presentation skills.
  • ECE Projects Showcase: On the Saturday following SDP days, you will demonstrate your project to the broader community including family and friends.

SDP Process

To ensure a successful completion of Senior Design Project, the following process has been established and is to be followed by all teams.

Team Coordination

In order to facilitate team organization and communication, each team has one member who is designated as the team manager. Responsibilities of the team manager include

  • functioning as liaison between the team, the advisor, and the course coordinators,
  • ensuring that the team is prepared for the weekly advisor meetings,
  • being responsible for assembling weekly team report, and
  • being responsible for logistics and confirmations associated with weekly team meetings, weekly advisor meetings, the PDR, MDR, CDR, FPR, SDP Day, and the ECE Projects Showcase (this includes room and presentation equipment reservations).


Weekly Team Meetings

Weekly team meetings are for the team members to meet with each other. This can be either before or after the weekly advisor meetings, but meeting the day before the advisor meeting is encouraged in order to be prepared to make best use of the time with the advisor. It is the team manager’s responsibility to set up these meetings.

Weekly Advisor Meetings

Each project team holds a weekly meeting with their project advisor. Ideally, these meetings should be schedule to take place the same time each week. The purpose of each meeting is to have each team member report on progress that has been made, barriers that have been identified and clarification of short- and long-term goals. It is the team coordinator’s responsibility to set up these meetings with the project advisor.

Course Meetings and Attendance

Course meetings and events are specified in the course calendar. Regular course meetings are held:

  • Mondays, 4:00-5:15 p.m., Lectures: Hasbrouck Lab, Rm 124; Marcus 10/12.

Attendance at all course meetings, review presentations, and other events listed in the calendar is required. Attendance has an impact on final grades.

Supplies & Equipment

A wide range of supplies and equipment are available in the SDP lab. For parts that are not stocked, each team is assigned a budget for purchasing components and supplies for their project. For each requisition, a Purchase Order Request Form must be filled out, signed by the advisor, and given to Francis Caron. Purchases that do not follow the outlined procedures cannot be reimbursed.


The final grade for ECE 415 and ECE 416 will be a weighted average of the following three grade components:

  • Advisor grade (50%): Given at the discretion of the advisor.
  • Review Board grade (30%): Average of PDR and MDR (for ECE 415) or CDR and FPR (for ECE 416) grades.
  • Course Coordinator grade (20%): Based on attendance, project documents, and performance:

Each Team member is graded individually.

Academic Dishonesty

Any form of academic dishonesty (see definition in the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities booklet) will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty will lead to a failure in the assignment in question, failure in the course, and/or further disciplinary action at the university level. Cases of academic dishonesty may be reported to the Department Head, the Assistant Dean, and the University Academic Honesty Board.