Concordia University

Capstone & other design classes

Although Google and YouTube are common resources used for finding information for design project, below are many other useful places to look for your capstone project, design project, or even proposal writing.

Stakeholder interview

Stakeholders are the clients, users, and anyone else who has an interest in the outcome of the project. Interviewing the stakeholders will allow the design team to capture their wants and needs and translate this into a set of requirements. Get more information about stakeholders from Purdue University Libraries, and use their Stakeholder Interview Planning Worksheet to help you prepare for an interview.


Problem statement & literature review

Although Google and YouTube are typical sources when gathering data for the background statement and literature review, here are other sources and types of information that should not be overlooked:

Journal articles
To find available technology and related designs
Government information & reports
To find the current state of technology, costs, general background information
Newspapers, magazines & trade journals
To find related designs or products, consumer & market trends, current state of technology & general background info
Capstone resources
To find consumer and market trends, and general background information
To find related designs or products
Sources to find costing information of components, products, services, labour, etc.

Preliminary & detailed design phase

When customer needs (the "what" of a project) are translated into engineering characteristics (the “how” of a design), you will need to define design parameters, variables and constraints (eg. dimensions, performance properties, costs, codes, material properties and selection, etc.). Here are sources that can help:

Background information
To help understand how certain products, components, or technologies work
Codes, specifications & standards
To ensure lawfulness, safety, best practice, compatibility, etc.
Products & components (catalogues, etc.)
To see what components, products and materials are commercially available
Journal articles
To find background information and data not available elsewhere
Material selection & properties
To find data, parameters, units, etc. for design, modeling, and analysis
Technical reports
To find background information and data not available elsewhere

Modeling & analysis phase

When analyzing the design or modeling with computer simulations, finding the right mathematical equations and models is important, as well as assigning correct values (properties, or others) for the simulations. Here are some sources to find this information:

To find the right equations for calculations and simulations
Codes, specifications & standards
To find specific tests and specifications for designs.
Products & components (catalogues, etc.)
To find datasheets with dimensions, drawings, performance figures, etc.
Journal articles
Scholarly articles may provide parameters, specifications, drawings, etc.
Material properties
To find data, parameters, units, etc.
Technical reports
Government or industry reports may provide parameters, specifications, drawings, etc.

Preparing a bibliography
  • Writing the final report will require citing your sources. Engineering students are typically required to use the IEEE Citation Style. The Engineering Form & Style Guide also has a section (p. 22) describing how to cite using the IEEE citation style.

  • If you are using another citation style, please see our "Citation Guides" page for guidance.

  • Unsure how to cite? Watch the video tutorial: "How do I cite my sources?" 

  • Try RefWorks to manage and organize your references and prepare a bibliography automatically! See what it can do for you.

Presenting the final design

Here are two books that can be helpful in preparing the final oral presentation:


Other resources

Here are a few helpful resources on the process of Engineering Design:


Image credits

Images are Creative Commons or public domain, except for the Background information image (copyright Concordia University). Image credits (for Creative Commons images): Patent image by Aaron (via Flickr), Journals image by Wiley Asia Blog (via Flickr), Newspapers image by Lolly man (via Flickr), Textbooks image by Pixabay, Prodcuts and components image by Patricia M (via Flickr), Statistics image by Pixabay, Standards image by Pixabay, Costs image by Pixabay. Material properties image and Technical reports image are in the public domain (via Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons respectively).


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