Innovation Design Capstone (GE495.6)



Innovation Design Capstone (GE495.6)is a full year interdisciplinary project-based course (September – April), which typically may replace the senior disciplinary design course (i. e. ME495, EE495, EP495, etc) in most engineering programs.

Projects are defined by the student teams by identifying a technological innovation centric business opportunity that aligns with their own engineering discipline.

Since 2020, we offer limited spots for client based interdisciplinary design projects.

For more information, please sign up for the information session through this form here.

Students typically work in a team of 3 to 5 members. They will apply modern design process and entrepreneurship practices to

  1. identify a real world problem
  2. conceptualize a design solution to solve the problem
  3. develop a proof of concept or working prototype to implement the design

In fall, the teams will attend weekly classes to gain hands on exercise to reinforce the design process.

In winter, the course will be jointly offered with the Innovation Speaker Series (GE490.1) for weekly guest lectures on leadership, career advancement, and entrepreneurship.

Note: Students from Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering may take the three credit version of the course Innovation Design Project (GE496.3) for Project Management Credit.

Course Content

The topics covered in this course typically include:

  • Opportunity identification and evaluation
  • Customer needs identification
  • Problem definition
  • Design requirement generation
  • Design thinking
  • Project management
  • Multidisciplinary teamwork
  • System architectures
  • Usability Analysis
  • Prototyping and testing
  • Leadership in entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship
  • Professional presentation

Additional Support

Students may qualify for a variety of funding opportunities through the Tech Innovation Program:

  • Prototyping funding through the La Borde Chair Fund
  • Entrepreneurship Award for Engineering Students
  • Several pitch competitions with up to $1, 000 in cash prizes
  • Support from the course instructor and the Entrepreneur in Residence

Past Projects

Have a look at what students have done in the past!

  • A grain cart weight measuring system
  • A concert ticket and setlist information management system
  • A hernia surgical retractor (SES’21 – Audience Choice Award, First place in CCCA’20 Roadshow, First place in USask Startup Workshop 2020)
  • An automated civil engineering lab test (Finalist in Telus Innovation Challenge, Semi-final in Co.Launch cohort 7)
  • A smoke free stove for low income countries
  • A prosthetics fit monitoring system
  • A quantum magnetometer
  • A cattle watering bowl monitoring system (Finalist in InVenture Business Plan Competition 2020)
  • A juvenile arthritis measuring system (SES’20 – Audience Choice Award)
  • A culvert blockage warning system
  • A train notification system
  • A rural residential water purification system
  • A heartrate variability monitoring system for swine
  • A greener H2 production process
  • A “barefoot” orthotic binding system
  • An aid to help the blind walk in straight lines
  • A feed efficiency measuring system in hog barns
  • An elevator control system for quadriplegics


CRN: 86478

Please note that permission for registration is given to the qualified team as a whole only. If you have an idea or would like to join a team, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions session for more information

To learn more about the course, please complete the prospect form below, and we will connect with you.

Register Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this course different from the other senior design courses?

Innovation Design Capstone focuses on developing a technical solution that addresses a real world market need. The student driven project will be developed in an interdisciplinary environment. The course will support you to explore your idea from a business development perspective and offers the opportunities to co-create your solution with real users.

What requirements do I need to register?

You need to meet the prerequisites for the senior design capstone course in your own disciplinary program.

What is the criteria for the qualifying project?

To qualify for the course, your project must meet the following requirements:

  • someone (more than one customer, we typically encourage at least 10 potential customers) wants and pays for solving their problem
  • the existing solutions do not do the job
  • you can envision a potential solution
  • nothing currently exists that solves the problem in the same way
  • you have a team to build a viable solution

Do I need to form my own team?

It is recommended that you form a team before the initial meeting in August. However, if you do not have a team of four, it should be possible to find additional team members in our lighthearted networking sessions. These sessions are typically once a month in the evening for one hour to help you connect with other students.

Student Stories


“I really enjoyed GE495. It helped open me up further to the world of entrepreneurship. GE495 helped me sharpen my leadership, project management, and creativity skills to ultimately help me land my current position within a successful startup company. 

I would recommend this course for students who are looking to gain experience in some very real world situations. It will give them interdisciplinary experience along with the knowledge and skills to help them start their own, or contribute to a startup company. This course is very beneficial and will give them ever lasting skills that they will be able to carry into any future job/company.

Riley Stevenson, BS. Computer Engineering


“GE495 taught me the foundations for learning how to identify and solve real problems that, more importantly, have a market. The lessons that I learned in the class helped me to build the confidence to enter the start-up ecosystem and work with small teams and limited resources to achieve big goals. It was a great opportunity to meet and connect with driven people who are interested in making a difference

Aldo Scribante, BS. Electrical Engineering