Inter-departmental Senior Design Projects

Students who wish to undertake a senior design project that incorporates team members from multiple SEAS departments may pursue an Inter-Departmental Senior Design (ISD) project.

Deadline: August 1st before your senior year

To Apply for an ISD Project

  1.  Seek out and discuss your intended project with your project advisor. An advisor is a subject matter expert who provides technical or high-level guidance for the project. Often, they are faculty or staff associated with the host department. Reach out to the design leaders from your intended host department if you need help securing a project advisor.
  2. Discuss your project theme and team composition with the design leader(s) from the intended host department. See the design leaders contact information section below for email addresses. You are encouraged to start these conversations early in the project identification and team formation process.
  3. Discuss your team composition and project thrusts with the design leaders from the home department(s) of the ISD member(s).
  4. Complete this ISD Declaration.docx. The document identifies the teammates (typically 3-5 recommended), host department, problem statement, potential solutions, and relationship between ISD student major(s) and project thrusts. The form requires endorsement from the host department design leader(s), the design leader(s) from the home department(s) of ISD students, and the project advisor. Endorsement may be in the form of signature or approval email.
  5. Submit your ISD Declaration with signatures and/or email approvals attached to the end of the document as a single pdf file to seas-senior-design-leaders@lists.seas.upenn.edu. The subject line of the email should read “ISD Declaration – <Project Name> – <Host Department>”. For example, “ISD Declaration – Dynamic Materials for Acoustic Walls – MSE.” The pdf should be named similarly.

Design Leaders Contact Information

The following are contacts for all SEAS design leaders. General inquiries can be sent to grahamw@seas.upenn.edu.

Department Contact name and emails
Bioengineering (BE) Sevile Mannickarottu (sevile@seas.upenn.edu) and David Meaney (dmeaney@seas.upenn.edu)
Computer and Information Science (CIS) Graham Wabiszewski (grahamw@seas.upenn.edu)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) Bruce Vrana (vranab@seas.upenn.edu) and Warren Seider (seider@seas.upenn.edu)
Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE) Sid Deliwala (deliwala@seas.upenn.edu) and Jan Van der Spiegel (jan@seas.upenn.edu)
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) Graham Wabiszewski (grahamw@seas.upenn.edu)
Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Graham Wabiszewski (grahamw@seas.upenn.edu)

Course Enrollment, Grading, and Special Considerations

The entire team will register for the senior design course series (fall and spring) of the host department. The ISD team will follow the deliverables, presentations, and grading scheme of the host department’s senior design course series.

Teams combining only ESE and CIS majors and the related majors of CMPE, NETS, and SSE do not require ISD approval. Please reach out to the ESE and CIS design leaders to determine the most appropriate host department.

The CBE department will be unable to host ISD projects. If you are a CBE major participating in ISD, you must still take CBE 400 in the fall semester of your senior year. You must also register for the host department’s senior design course in the fall semester. You may use this credit toward any engineering elective requirement in the CBE program. In the spring, you will enroll in the second senior design course in the host department, which will replace CBE 459.