Senior level capstone design courses are run in many different ways in the academic community. A growing number of institutions strive to promote immersion into the real world of engineering through industrially sponsored projects. While this approach offers many immediate benefits to near-graduating seniors, it introduces many unique problems to the academic community. Developing and sustaining an industrially-sponsored capstone design program requires an understanding of the synergies and differences between academia and industry. Key issues discussed in this paper are program management, company sponsorship, diversity of projects, level of oversight required to make a successful project and legal implications of sponsoring a meaningful project.

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