Skip to content

Mechanical Engineering

Corporate Partnership

Internship in Engineering Design

Senior Design (ME4020) Program

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is proud of its continuing partnerships that not only give our students access to real-world problems faced in the industry but aids engineering professionals by interjecting different perspectives. Senior design is the capstone course for the ME curriculum. Students work in teams of 4 to 6 to engineer practical solutions to open-ended problems. It integrates previous course material with team and communication skills in the project-based learning context. The teams complete the entire design cycle (Plan, Design, Build, & Test).

Typically three to four teams address the same issue, providing the company with multiple proposals to choose from or blend. Students have experiences that are directly related to their major and ultimately to their careers.

The department will work with you or a representative to develop the situation into one that is appropriate for our students. A rough gauge to use to assess the project's appropriateness for a semester-long senior design project is to compare it to a project that would take a full-time employee approximately four weeks to complete. This estimate accounts for the novice nature of the students, the balance of 10 hours per week in participation, and the teams being self-managed.

We provide an advisory committee for every project that typically comprises two faculty members that meet weekly with the students. Clemson supplements the committee with external retired engineering professionals, team coaches, and graduate students trained in project management and design tools.

Gartland Profile

“What I really enjoyed about having a sponsor, or a client was that we got to know their parameters and their requirements and then really build our project off of them. What I also appreciated was the mutualistic relationship; if they were really good sponsors, we had a great experience and then we wanted to contribute a really good project for them. ”

Ashley Gartland
ME '20

Corporate Partnership

If you are not already an industrial department partner, we invite you to explore the opportunities that a partnership with Clemson University can make for your business. Companies that sponsor a Mechanical Engineering Design Internship provide a problem for students to solve and act as the customer for the project. Throughout the process, they contact student teams for questions and advice and provide parts & test facilities as needed. Sponsorships come in the form of financial support via an educational grant ($10,000 per project) to support faculty time, facilities, and prototyping materials

A Good ME4020 Problem

  • There is a clear problem to be solved. It is unique and has not been solved thoroughly before.
  • The customer requirements are known.
  • Many concepts are possible, and not just one natural solution to which the students will gravitate.
  • The solutions require the application of engineering principles learned in the ME curriculum and create appropriate analytical challenges.
  • Solving the problem fulfills a practical need.
  • The project is reasonable in scope and complexity.
  • Faculty, facilities & resources are available to the students to fulfill the project requirements.

Benefits of Partnerships

  • Access to great engineering students
  • Multiple innovative ‘outside-the-box’ solution proposals
  • Name recognition and presence on campus
  • Direct input to the educational process
  • Visits to campus to build relationships with students and the Department of Mechanical Engineering


  • Oral and written reports (Interim Review, Final Design)
  • Drawings and Bill of Materials
  • Rights to use ideas generated
  • Prototype (to be discussed)
Confidentiality and IP

Standard Clemson University NDA can be applied if requested. Advanced notice is needed. Special agreement on ownership of IP must be discussed in advance if required.

Contact: Tim Guggisberg
Clinical Assistant Professor
864.656.2023 |