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Interdisciplinary Senior Design FAQ’s

Below are some commonly asked questions about Honors Interdisciplinary Senior Design (EF 437–438).

Is this course option applicable to only IBEP students?

This course sequence is available to seniors in the Haslam College of Business and the Tickle College of Engineering.

EF 437 and EF 438 are listed as honors courses. Can I take these classes if I am not in one of the UT honors programs?

Yes. Seniors in the Haslam College of Business and seniors in the Tickle College of Engineering interested in rigorous, experiential, project-based learning are encouraged to apply. Status as an Honors student is not required. All student applications will be vetted prior to approval.

If I am in one of the UT honors programs, can I use my interdisciplinary senior design project for the basis of my honors thesis?

Yes; however, you will typically be required to write a separate report and identify your contributions. You should verify the specific requirements for your program with the UT Honors and Scholars Division.

Will this class satisfy the engineering capstone requirements?

The course developers are working with each department to ensure the classes meet each discipline’s capstone requirements. There may be discipline-specific training provided outside of regular class meetings to make sure critical topics are covered. The following table summarizes for each major the specific courses EF 437/438 will substitute for, the additional technical elective hours accrued, and any special notes. Petitions will be processed on behalf of the students as noted. Also, refer to notes on any required co-requisite courses. The approval process is ongoing and it is anticipated that there will be an approved path for all seniors to complete this course sequence.

Major Course substitutes Add’l tech. elec. credit Notes
Aerospace AE 450/460 0 Approved by petition
Biomedical BME 450/460 0 Approved by petition
Biosystems TBD TBD TBD
Chemical CBE 488 or CBE 490 3 Please see Dr. Boder; CBE 480 is a typical co-req for EF 437
Civil CE 399S/400 2 Approved by petition
CompEng ECE 401/402 1
CompSci COSC 401/402 1
Electrical ECE 401/402 1
Industrial IE 404/422 2
Materials MSE 489 3 MSE 480 is a mandatory co-req for EF 437
Mechanical ME 450/460 0 Approved by petition
Nuclear NE 471/472 0 Approved by petition

For business students that aren’t in IBEP, where does it fit in the curriculum? Does it replace something like a technical elective?

The course developers are working with the Haslam College of Business to identify how the course will count towards degree requirements.

Why do I get a “You need permission” message when I try to access the EF 437/438 application form?

Please use your UTK email account to log into Google prior to accessing the EF 437-438 application form. If you are using your personal Gmail account, you’ll get the following response:

You Need Permission

Will all classes meet at the same time?

EF 437 will meet on Zoom Mondays 5:20 – 7:00 p.m. and Wednesdays 5:20 – 6:10 p.m. It will be up to the teams determine when to meet outside of regular class time. Some lecture material will be delivered outside of class time via video.

How are teams divided?

The project scope of work for each project is carefully curated to determine the needed student disciplines. For example, a project to develop a new Internet of Things (IOT) product may require a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, a computer engineer, a computer science major, a marketing major, and a supply chain major. Students from those disciplines would individually bid for the project. In the bidding process, students will rank all the projects they are qualified for and include why they are interested/qualified for these projects (beyond just indicating their major). One or more faculty members will review the bids and assemble the teams. The team will stay together for the entire 2-semester sequence and report to the same faculty project mentor (coach) for the duration.

What is the average makeup of the teams?

Like in industry, the project content will drive how the teams are composed. It is expected that the typical team size will be 6 students with 4 – 5 from engineering and 1 – 2 from business.

What are the project deliverables?

The student team will produce the following deliverables for the sponsoring company/agency:

  • Preliminary Design Report and Presentation
  • System Level Design Report and Presentation
  • Final Design Report and Presentation
  • Final Prototype System
  • Project Poster
  • Infomercial Video
  • Project-dependent documentation such as business plans/business model canvas, drawings, schematics, source code, standard operating procedures, etc.

Have any projects been sourced?

Projects are being sourced continually. Due to competition sensitivity, details regarding the projects may be delayed.

Will I be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

Yes. All students participating on the Interdisciplinary Senior Design course will sign an NDA. The purpose of the NDA is to allow all members of the ISD program to discuss projects freely during the normal classroom and laboratory settings with other members of the ISD program. Under this NDA arrangement, such project discussions will not be perceived as public disclosures. In certain circumstances, premature public disclosure of patentable technology can invalidate a patent or otherwise prevent an idea from being patented. Some project sponsors may require participating students to sign a second NDA directly with the sponsor. Students that choose not sign either the ISD NDA or the sponsor’s NDA will be required to participate in their departmental capstone course in lieu of the ISD course sequence. Refer to the Confidentiality Agreement Primer for more details about NDAs.

We are now accepting applications for Interdisciplinary Senior Design.

Rising senior business and engineering students are encouaged to apply.