Skip to Main Content
In order to enable students to experience real life engineering problem solving, design, team work, project execution and management, civil engineering students at the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) must complete a capstone project as a graduation requirement. To better prepare USCGA students for their unique future roles as civil engineers in the Coast Guard, most capstone projects involve working with Coast Guard officers and civilian engineers in the field on actual Coast Guard projects. Project selection criteria include funding for site visits, a mandatory design component, a reasonable project schedule, realistic stakeholder expectations and a good match with expertise of the faculty advisors. The capstone design teams are provided specific instructions to guide them through the execution of their capstone projects. The authors discuss the development and execution of successful capstone projects at the USCGA and provide strategies for meeting educational outcomes while ensuring projects are useful to the Coast Guard.