Sponsor a Senior Design Project

Each year, ISyE seniors apply everything they've learned in the Senior Design course. Students collaborate in small groups in an effort to tackle real-world problems in projects proposed by ISyE industry affiliates. Every team partners with a faculty advisor and industry mentor for 15 weeks to scope the project, perform analysis and discover insights, test and measure potential solutions, and deliver recommendations.

Schedule for 2023-24 Academic Year

Project proposals, selection, and team formation take place in the Fall term.  Project execution takes place during the Spring term.

Fall 2023:
Key DatesMilestone
10/13/23Priority deadline to submit project proposals
OngoingRefine scope, in collaboration with ISyE faculty 
11/3/23Project sponsors notified about project acceptance
11/30/23Senior Design Proposal Fair. Sponsors of selected projects are invited to campus to pitch your project—and your company—to ISyE Seniors. This is your opportunity to get students excited about working on your project!
12/15/23 Project sponsors notified of their Senior Design team members
Spring 2024:
  • Project work will take place between January 16 - April 29.
  • On campus final presentations will be held on Tuesday, April 23 and Thursday, April 25.

What Makes a Successful Project?

  • Large scope and challenge commensurate with student time requirement
  • Significant value to sponsor
  • Use Industrial and Systems Engineering knowledge and methodologies
  • Scope includes opportunity for students to recommend a design or modification of a system or process

How Much Does It Cost?

  • The financial commitment for this course from corporate sponsors is $5,000 per project to support department and student initiatives.
  • Fee waivers will be considered for non-profit organizations sponsoring projects.
  • Any costs incurred for the project, such as supplies, travel, or equipment, are also the responsibility of the corporate sponsor.

Benefits to Project Industry Partners

  • At least 150 hours of work from each student team member
  • Fresh perspective, proposals, and solutions to your important business problems
  • Project Statement of Work, two Project Updates, a final Project Report and Presentation to keep students and sponsors on the same page and maximum project value
  • Relationships with highly qualified Industrial Engineering students, which may lead to recruitment opportunities
  • Access to ISyE faculty knowledge and resources

Expectations of Project Industry Partners

  • Commitment of Industry Mentor to team
    • Degree in Engineering or related field
    • Reasonable responsiveness to student contacts
    • Responsible for client-side organization (meetings, site visits, data, etc.), answering student questions
  • Commitment to providing access to data and site
  • True interest in project
    • Students are highly motivated to provide real value to sponsors!

Examples of Past Projects


ISyE Seniors at the University of Minnesota pharmacy

In 2021, a group worked with the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC) to help transition its pharmacy on the East Bank campus from a manual inventory management system to an automated carousel system. Simulations suggested the switch lowered UMMC’s on-hand inventory by at least 10 percent, as well as saved the hospital system at least $195,000 each year.

Read the story


ISyE Undergrads Boston Scientific

In 2020, a group was tasked with developing a new inventory management system for Boston Scientific Corporation. Using real-time usage data, the team of seniors found Boston Scientific could drastically improve its demand forecasting processes and inventory management, while potentially saving millions of dollars annually and eliminating waste from products with high inventory and little demand.

Read the story

Quotes from Past Sponsors







Ready to propose a project?

Proposals received by October 13, 2023 will receive full consideration for Spring 2024.

Online Proposal Form

Printable Proposal Form


For more information, please contact Professor Lisa Miller at lisamill@umn.edu or (612) 625-7397.