ME 4701: Capstone Design - Will research what

Information and resources for Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design.


What kind of information do you seek as an engineer?

Note: The particular project, time constraints, etc. will determine what and how much information you gather.

Background information - provides context for the general situation of the person or group the team is helping, theoretical knowledge about engineering, science, and math, and general knowledge about the materials, equipment, technology, etc. associated with the project

Standards and/or codes - can provide a consistent methodology for procedures, standardization of parts, safety information, and/or requirements to uphold any regulations or laws

Product (Materials and Components) information - includes cost and specifications for the components, equipment, etc. utilized in developing a solution

Materials specifications - provides physical, chemical, etc. property data

Existing designs - what has already been done so that you do not need to reinvent the wheel

Benchmarking - information or data on existing products or designs that have addressed similar needs or some aspect of the need, which you can compare your solution against

Patents - provides a legal description of an invention, including drawings

Design awards/grants - information on an applicable competitions, awards or grants that you may be able to apply for related to the project, and the characteristics of the winning entries



If you are working with a local Athens high school student, who is wheelchair bound, to make the Athens' campus more accessible. What kind of information might you seek to modify a self-propelled manual wheelchair so they can go anywhere on campus?

This is not an exhaustive list just examples of some of the information you may seek for the project.

  • number of people in wheelchairs (could this be broken into number as a result of car accidents)
  • number of hills on campus and grade
  • user manual or specifications for the wheelchair
  • safety standards for wheelchairs (may have to focus on a specific part e.g., wheels)
  • ADA regulations
  • wheelchair modifications for sports
  • unicycle that can change gears (or a bicycle with a gear hub)
  • braking systems for wheelchairs
  • what is their major and interests (to help determine where on campus they will be the majority of time)
  • cost of gear hubs