Students present innovative research and prototypes at VCU School of Engineering design expo

Annual signature event showcases yearlong projects from schools of Engineering and Business

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A drone surveillance system, an automatic pill dispenser and a Martian weather station are some of the projects Virginia Commonwealth University students will present at the VCU School of Engineering’s annual Capstone Design Expo.

The event, which showcases engineering students’ innovative research and design prototypes, will be held Friday, April 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St. The expo is free and open to the public.

The Capstone Design course teaches leadership, teamwork and design skills in a collaborative environment and provides students the opportunity to develop and complete projects that may lead to product innovation for the benefit of society. Students can compete for additional financial support for their projects through a fund made possible by a generous gift from Mark A. Sternheimer. This year’s students are building business skills alongside students in the VCU School of Business’ entrepreneurship capstone course, New Venture Strategy and Initiation, to learn the process of launching a new company.

“Innovation and commercialization is never one person working on it alone and this partnership creates a mechanism for students to combine both to take their products to market,” said Bennett C. Ward, Ph.D., director of project outreach and Capstone Design coordinator for the VCU School of Engineering.

The cross-disciplinary learning experience can result in innovative products — and viable platforms for getting them to consumers, Ward said.

Sponsors of this year’s expo include corporations, nonprofits and health sciences organizations, and can be found at

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About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and