Future Sponsors

Thank you for your interest in sponsoring a mechanical and/or mechatronic engineering Capstone Design project.  Project sponsorship is a great way for a company or other organization to partner with Chico State University for the mutual benefit of our students and your enterprise. Potential benefits to sponsors include:

  • An opportunity to initiate elective research projects
  • Collaboration with Chico State faculty
  • Benefiting from the creative talent of students
  • Creation of innovative and competitive products
  • Development of improved manufacturing or business processes
  • Ownership of intellectual property
  • Recruitment of potential employees
  • Positively impacting a number of students with a marginal investment
  • Networking at fall presentations and the spring Design Expo

If you have a project in mind and are wondering how it might fit with our program, ask yourself the following questions:

Is the project appropriate in scope for a group of four to five students to accomplish in eight months of part time work?

  • Most groups are made up of four students, but groups from three to six may be considered on a case by case basis. Typical projects are estimated at 600 to 800 engineering hours (design, build, and test).

Will the design project result in a hardware solution?

  • It is a course requirement that student groups fabricate (or supervise fabrication of) a working prototype that must be tested against customer requirements and engineering specifications. The completed project hardware may be a final design that is immediately implemented in your enterprise or may be a proof-of-concept prototype.

Is it an "engineering" design project?

  • Students teams are expected to utilize competencies developed in their first three (or more) years in the program.  All students will have completed traditional engineering courses in statics, strength of materials, and machine design, as well as two semesters of parametric modeling with SolidWorks. Most mechanical students will also have completed fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer, while the mechatronic students will have completed (or will be be taking concurrently) embedded systems development, digital systems design, machine automation, and control system design.  Capstone design projects should require some level of engineering analysis, be it hand calculations, computer simulation, equipment selection, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, sensors, programming, data collection, control system design, etc..

Can your organization provide a point of contact that will be available to interface with the student design team?

  • A company representative should be available to interface with the students and project advisor on an as-needed basis. While weekly meetings are not generally required, a company official should be available to clarify requirements and answer questions when needed.

Is the project worth a financial commitment of $5000?

  • The sponsorship fee of $5000 is treated as a donation to the program and is acknowledged by the university in the form of a gift letter.  Funds are used to support prototype construction and testing, as well as university support services such as the Tech Shop.  The fee, which would buy less than a week's worth of a consulting engineer's time, typically provides the sponsor about 600 to 800 student engineering hours, along with 50 or more hours from the faculty advisor

Will the project fit the timeline?

  • Detailed design completes in December
  • Fabrication and testing completes in May

Must the designed solution work?

  • Our students are creative, talented, and driven, and often come up with novel, practical design solutions that are of great benefit to the industrial sponsor.  However, we cannot guarantee or warrantee any work done by our students, and suggest that a viable design solution not be critical to your enterprise.

Additional questions?

Now what?

  • If you are interested in sponsoring a project, or would just like some more information about the program, please feel free to contact me at 530-898-4388 or gkwatkins@csuchico.edu.  I’m happy to discuss potential projects with you at any time.

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