Materials Design: Senior Capstone Design Course

ENMA 490: Materials Design, is the senior Capstone Design course for materials science and engineering. In it, teams of students utilize what they have learned throughout their undergraduate studies to create their own engineering designs from concept to product. The Capstone Design experience is one of the most important parts of the Clark School's engineering program—each department offers their own version of the course.

Project Goal

Design is a key theme in materials science and engineering, delivering solutions from the understanding achieved by analysis. Design also opens the door to creativity and invention. New materials are revolutionizing many areas of advanced technology. This is a design project course in which the students will work as a team. They will survey some of the exciting areas of new materials and microsystems, and they will identify opportunities where the inclusion of new materials can markedly advance microsystem design.

The goal is to develop a design including materials choice and process sequence, based upon societal, technological or industrial need. The work should be original and based upon the skills of the team.


The class will choose an appropriate project based upon solicitations, broad area announcements, and/or the recent technical literature. Students are expected to exploit their knowledge and experience from prior courses in materials and related domains. They will search for background knowledge and prior work, develop requirements for a solution to the problem, identify and analyze candidate designs, use modeling and possibly experimental approaches to evaluate key issues, and generate a final presentation and final report for the project. The class will organize itself into subgroups as appropriate through the semester, and each student will regularly report to their subgroup and the class in written and oral form, using Blackboard and class and subgroup meeting times for communications. The class will keep records of its task organization, progress, and individual and group assignments, so that the development process for the project can be monitored continuously and evaluated at the end of the semester. Finally, students will complete an evaluation at the end of the course, a self-assessment, a peer assessment, and an assessment of the instructor and the course.

Syllabus and Course Evaluation 


PDF iconENMA-490-Course-Eval.pdf


Design Day (Evaluation)

At the end of the spring semester, student teams will present their research at a Design Day event, typically scheduled the second week in May. Projects will be judged by faculty, students and industry representatives based on technical criteria. All attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite project. Students have the opportunity to earn a gold, silver or bronze certificate.  


Sample Project Presentations from Previous Semesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event was held virtually for the Spring 2020 semester.

The Gold Medal Certificate was awarded to:
Hadas Elazar-Mittelman (project lead), Damara Dayton, Shannon Donaldson,
Michael Flickinger, Shannon Flynn and Daniel Rivkin.

The Silver Medal Certificate was awarded to:
Team SLA Nanoparticle Strain Sensor
Eli Fastow (project lead), Ben Eapen, John Hoerauf, Alison Kriz, Erin Wernick and Jonathan Wilson.

The Bronze Medal Certificate was awarded to:
Team SMA Cooling
Ethan Hyde (project lead), Jack Brody, Spencer Davis, Fahed Masood, Ted Mebane and Matthew Sieh.

*Team Novel Electrochemical Plating applied for a patent on their concept.
Team MOFIA will continue developing their project with funding provided by the JHU APL Pop-Up Nature Challenge.

Group 1: Nylon Based Copolymers for Biodegradable Fishing Net Applications

MSE capstone spring 2019 group 1

Group 2: Daisy Chain Approach to the Study of Solid-State Battery Interfaces

MSE capstone spring 2019 group 2

Group 3: Additive Manufacturing of Compositionally Graded Nickel-Copper
Alloy System for the Detection and Monitorization of Subsurface Cracks

MSE capstone spring 2019 group 3

Group 4: Adjustable Melting Point and Enhanced Thermal Conductivity of Calcium Chloride Hexahydrate

MSE capstone spring 2019 group 4


Group 1: Synthesizing a Ceramic Nanocomposite Filament for Extrusion 3D Printing

Group 2: Fabrication and Tesing of Biocompatible 3D Printed PEG for use in Sinal Nerve Regeneration

Group 3: Design, Fabrication and Characterization of Stretchable Silicon Photovoltaic Devices

Group 4: The Synthesis of Geosynthetic Barriers for Foundational Systems in Building Construction

Group 5: Functional Magnetic Paint

Group 6: Investigation of Nanoparticles... Kevlar Surface

Group 7: CNT-Coated Kevlar for Conductive, High-Strength Textile in Wind Turbine Blade Applications

Group 1

Video:  Fiber-Reinforced Carbon Aerogel for Insulation in Thermally Hostile Environment 
Final report: PDF iconCarbon Aerogel Fabric-Report.pdf

Group 2

Video:  PU Graphene Laminar Composite as Transparent Armour
Final Report: PDF iconPU-Graphene Bulletproof Shield.pdf

Group 3

Video:  Laser-Induced Porous Graphene Sponge for Oil Absorption
Final Report: PDF iconLIP Graphene Sponge.pdf

Group 4

Video:  Reduction of Nitrates from Runoff Water via Absorbent Cellulose Matrix 
Final Report: PDF iconSuper Absorbent Cellulose Matrix.pdf

Group 5

Video:  Woven Bamboo Composites
Final Report: PDF iconBamboo Fiber Composite.pdf

Group 6

Video:  Multi-scale Study of Spark Plasma Sintered Graphene SiC Ceramic 
Final Report:   PDF iconSiC Sinter Graphene Composites.pdf