Supporting Design Throughout
All Undergrad Years

The Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program is one big reason recruiters seek to hire the college’s students and graduates. They are well prepared to meet the world’s engineering challenges.

From first-year competitions and maker fests to senior projects, this four-year program ties design, manufacturing and commercialization to all levels of the undergraduate curriculum. It immerses students in hands-on design, community projects and business instruction, major-specific design courses, and capstone and entrepreneurship projects.

Design Day Videos: Program Benefits Success Stories


“The college is preparing students to solve some of the world’s greatest engineering challenges – sustainable energy, cybersecurity, improved health care, and access to food and clean water, for example. The Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program integrates design into all four years of the undergraduate curriculum, providing real-world experiences to help ensure their success.”

— David Hahn, Craig M. Berge Dean, College of Engineering

Far-Reaching Benefits of Projects

Well-Prepared Students

Industry Connections

Life-Changing Products


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Success Stories: Opening Doors and Changing Lives

Interdisciplinary capstone projects are the final academic outcome of the Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program.  For senior design teams, supervised and mentored by engineering professionals, it’s a chance to experience the work world and make job connections. For industry partners, the projects create opportunities to get to know and work with talented students.

senior design day
Finishing Strong with Grasshopper Harvester
When Wildcat athlete Hannah Whetzel isn’t running, she’s interning at Raytheon, in the lab studying mechanical engineering, or, for her 2019 capstone project, designing a grasshopper harvester to rid crops of pests. “It is really cool to see how engineering applies to real life.”
senior design day
Moving Ahead on Robotic Weeding
Mark Siemens, associate professor of biosystems engineering, has tasked a 2019 design team with building a robotic weeding machine for lettuce crops. “I haven’t been able to crack the puzzle, so part of my motivation was to get some fresh thoughts.”
senior design day
Digging Deep for Caterpillar
A 2018 design team, sponsored by Caterpillar, designed and built a small-scale prototype for a surface mining machine to replace electric rope shovels and hydraulic rope shovels. “This experience will help me get a job and perform it well,” said team member Dylan Guenther.
senior design day
Going on the Offense for Defense
Matthias Whitney is a principal electro-optics engineer at Elbit, a defense electronics company. The 2019 senior design project sponsor says he’s finding what he needs at the UA. “If we wish to remain competitive, we need to continually be attracting new talent.”
senior design day
Rethinking Ankle Replacement
“This could open doorways to rethink the way we do orthopedic surgery,” said Daniel Medrano. His 2018 design team designed a system that uses a non-invasive laser beam shining from ankle to hip to accurately align the two body parts during ankle replacement surgery.
senior design day
Scoping Out Honeywell Talent
Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace has been supporting projects and scoping out talent in the UA’s Engineering Design Program for more than a decade. “Some really good engineers come out of the program,” said company engineer Alex Mirzamoghadam.
senior design day
Empowering Electricity Customers
“People can determine what they can do to save money without changing their energy use,” said Dylan Carlson, whose 2018 design team, sponsored by TEP, created a device to measure power usage, calculate cost, and display the information.
senior design day
Making a Lifesaver Even Better
Hydronalix sponsored teams to refine EMILY, a robotic rescue buoy. One project was a canister to automate deployment, the other a sonar addition for underwater search and rescue. “They’ll become excellent engineers,” said CEO Tony Mulligan of UA students.
senior design day
Pollinating Date Palms via Drone
Students created a more efficient, semi-autonomous pollination drone for date palms at the Gowan Company in Yuma, Arizona. They won the top 2017 Design Day prize. A UA entrepreneurial program is carrying on the project, and a patent is on the horizon.
senior design day
Anticipating Patent for Medical Sensor
Xeridiem sponsored development of a sensor to reduce medical errors in nasogastric feeding tube placement. “We could not be more delighted with the outcome,” said Paul Melnychuck, senior director of business development, marketing and innovation.
senior design day
Helping a Classmate Walk Again
Within two weeks of using a student-designed exoskeleton, an accounting undergrad could stand up and maintain his balance after years in a wheelchair. Hermelinda Bristol is pursuing a patent for the device with the hopes it will help more people like her son.
senior design day
Working on Pocket-Size Defibrillator
“We want to make the first small, affordable and personal defibrillator that people can put in their pockets and easily carry with them,” said cardiologist Dr. Carter Newton, founder of CardioSpark, which sponsored a team to create the prototype.

Craig M. Berge Design Day: Where It All Comes Together

On May 2, teams of four to six seniors proudly present the results of their yearlong, sponsored interdisciplinary capstone projects. Design Day often leads to cash prizes, patents and commercialized products, and job offers.

Check out last year's outstanding video presentations  – featuring projects ranging from apps to empower zoo visitors, and animals, to analysis of samples from space. And, see the winners from the annual awards ceremony.

Design Day 2021Read the digital version of the 2022 Design Day Booklet.

signs For more information, visit the Interdisciplinary Capstone website, email us, or call 520.621.8232.

From Awe-Inspiring Creations to Dream Jobs

Laura Barajas


MSE Senior

“It definitely helped us prepare for the workforce. The whole process of senior design is like a little mirror of industry.”

Laura Barajas, 2018 materials science and engineering senior
Cliff Andressen

Cliff Andressen

prize sponsor

“They’re teaching them to think, not just to turn the crank. I was just awed by the quality of work UA students are doing.”

Cliff Andressen, Design Above and Beyond prize sponsor
Sharon ONeal



“They are not afraid to take on and develop complex design solutions and diligently work through the many challenges.”

Sharon ONeal, program mentor & first female senior fellow at Raytheon Missile Systems
Scott Rowland

Scott Rowland

industry mentor

“It really speaks well of the market and the program here that all these students are finding jobs.”

Scott Rowland, industry mentor & Northrop Grumman mechanical engineering manager
Fast Facts