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Senior Capstone Projects

The senior capstone project is one of the most intensive, memorable, and eye-opening experiences in the undergraduate program.

Update: 2020 Capstone Technical Awards Announced!

CubeSat, Applewhite, Boeing and RAVEN awarded! See details below.

BSAAE students complete a rigorous design and build project focusing specifically on the skills and knowledge unique to the field of aerospace engineering. All projects provide students with focused industry mentoring, interdisciplinary teamwork, written and oral communication skills, engagement with regulatory requirements, fiscal and procurement management, social and ethical considerations, and market awareness.

Capstone Options

For A&A students, three options are available for capstone design: 

  • Large team in aeronautics, sponsored by the A&A Department, that creates a new scale-model fixed wing aircraft each year based on a current design topic of direct relevance to industry or military needs.
  • Large team in astronautics, sponsored by the A&A Department, that focuses on development and testing of a launch system and payload such as a cubesat.
  • Small team projects allowing students to directly engage with industry on current and emergent engineering challenges, which may be industry-sponsored through the College of Engineering, faculty-sponsored, or self-organized (see your adviser if you would like to submit an application to create a Capstone Project).

The large team projects must accommodate both domestic and international students, so the selected topics must not involve any constraints related to export controlled material. Requirements for US citizenship and/or NDA constraints are possible for the small team projects.

When selecting a Capstone Project, students should weigh their research and subject interests, relevant skills to contribute, career goals and more.

Industry Sponsored Capstone Program

The UW College of Engineering (COE) Industry Sponsored Capstone Program is a college-wide effort that is designed to provide effective project-based and team-based education of undergraduate students to meet the needs of engineering, science and industry.  

To learn about sponsoring an Aeronautics & Astronautics Capstone project, visit the COE Industry Capstone Program.

2019-2020 A&A Senior Capstone Projects

Industry-sponsored projects

Visit the College of Engineering website for summaries of the 2019-2020 industry capstone projects.

Airbus: Urban mobility battery swap

Applewhite Aero: Baton, a precision delivery system

Boeing: Regional aircraft family

TLG Aerospace: Robust laminar flow over a high endurance airfoil

Vulcan: Wildlife conservation drone

Faculty and student-led projects

UW A&A Aircraft Design: The NASA / Lockheed Martin X59 quiet supersonic flight demonstrator.

Society for Advanced Rocket Propulsion: Liquid bipropellant rocket.

CubeSat: Flight hardware that will fly in space.

RAVEN: Rocket analog vehicle for experiments in guidance, navigation, and control.

Capstone technical awards 2020

INNOVATION: Excellence in technology innovation
Honors the team whose final product represented the highest achievement in innovating the technology used in solving aerospace engineering problems.
Winner: CubeSat

IMPACT: Greatest potential impact on the field of aerospace, including social good
Honors the team whose final product represented the greatest potential, positive impact on the aerospace industry and aerospace engineering's role in shaping society.
WINNER: Applewhite

TRAILBLAZERS: Excellence in unique & creative problem solving
Honors the team whose final product demonstrated the most novel and creative team-based approach to identifying and addressing an aerospace engineering problem.
WINNER: Boeing

COMMUNICATION: Excellence in communication and presentation of ideas
Honors the team whose work demonstrated the highest achievement in articulating a need or problem; effectively proposing a solution; and maintaining a consistent, impactful message regarding the benefits of their product.

A&A would like to thank all of our technical reviewers who dedicated so much time to select these winners and provide valuable feedback. External technical reviewers include: Paul Applewhite, Doug Chappelle, Gary Cohen, Evan Frank, Jeff Hogan, Robert Lind, Matt Orr, Joel Reiter, and Adam Tahir. Internal reviewers from A&A include Behcet Acikmese, Abhiram Aithal, Burak Boyacioglu, Dana Dabiri, Ed Habtour, Jim Hermanson, Erik Hurlen, Justin Little, Eli Livne, Mehran Mesbahi, Kristi Morgansen, Chet Nelson, Peter Scuito, Reza Soltani, Steven Stanley, and Eric Wang.

View the 2020 A&A Capstone Film Fest

As we couldn't gather together for the usual Capstone Poster Sessions at the end of the year, A&A was thrilled to debut the Capstone Film Fest. Read the A&A Film Fest feature with awards announced or watch it on YouTube.

Completed Projects


Visit the College of Engineering website for summaries of the 2018-2019 industry capstone projects.

In addition, faculty and student-led projects included aircraft design, cubesats, origami structures, and space systems design.


Visit the College of Engineering website for summaries of the 2017-2018 industry capstone projects.