Insights about the capstone experience from 2021 Berkeley MEng Capstone AwardeesEach year we celebrate remarkable achievements of our graduates, you can find more about the 2021 capstone awards. Below, we’ve asked the winners and nominees to reflect on integrative and team-driven learning within their Berkeley MEng capstone experience.
What’s unique about MEng capstone, compared to other projects you’ve worked on?“The structure of the capstone provides a pretty incredible set of learning opportunities — selecting a project mirrors the job search process, while stakeholder meetings and technical tasks provide real industry experience, and everything is tied together academically through the program’s coursework.” — Sydney “Being [with] industry partners, I’ve been able to work and learn a lot. We had weekly meetings with wonderful advisors that helped us to improve our technical and leadership skills. They allowed us to create links between small deliverables, long-term objectives, and interests for our mentor’s company.” — Alexis “The most unique aspect of this capstone is the freedom. I felt that all other capstones I worked on had clear-cut deliverables, but the nature of this capstone was super flexible. This made working very enjoyable during COVID times. Also, the leadership courses did seem to build on the development of the capstone, so it always felt like we made progress.” — Justin “The MEng capstone allows us to apply state-of-the-art research into our project. In my previous projects, we could only use toy devices to provide proof-of-concept. However, through the capstone project, we can confidently talk about our vision and what we’re going to use to achieve it.” — Tsang-Yung “The support and resources provided by the Fung Institute is substantially greater than what I had received while working on other projects. Throughout the year, I always felt optimistic that my team would receive the advice and resources we were seeking, which is incredibly rare.” — Jasper “The MEng capstone experience gave us a real-world opportunity to be a part of innovation. Other class projects have the tendency to feel like just assignments, but the capstone gave us a chance to be a part of something that can make a real difference in the world.” — Anna “I’ve never really worked on projects involving virtual reality, and I’ve also never worked with a lot of biomechanics analysis so a lot of prior research needed to be done. The project also lasted longer than most projects I’ve worked on, and so planning was something that was really important for this capstone.” — Calvin “For me, the capstone project experience is unparalleled as it provided the opportunity to work on real world problems with industry partners. That said, the project can also be conceived as a perfect emulation of how companies approach problems and instantiate an idea in the real world.” — Hanyu “There was no hand holding — you were in complete control of the project you wanted to work on and you were responsible for assigning work and holding yourself accountable. It was also interdisciplinary.” — Rebecca “I liked all of the hands-on experience I was able to get. For example, lots of prototyping based on actual feedback from firefighters using our product.” — Tamara “One of my favorite aspects of the MEng capstone is the flexibility! In other projects I have participated in, the desired outcome was clearly defined and the steps needed to get there were laid out for me by others. However, the capstone experience lets YOU decide the course of action for achieving your project, professional, and personal goals! That is what I loved, the ability to make decisions — in union with my team — to innovate and find creative solutions to the world’s problems.” — Diego Check out more projects and highlights from the MEng Capstone Showcase: Innovating Across the Globe.
Alexis Ruiz [ME], Technical Leadership Capstone Award ([Asurion / Simplr] Build an Intelligent Customer Service Message Parser Using NLP Techniques)
Anna Wolfe [ME], Mission Award ([Blue Goji] Motion-Tracked VR Experiences to Improve Balance and Posture Rehabilitation)
Calvin Shih [ME], Mission Award ([Blue Goji] Motion-Tracked VR Experiences to Improve Balance and Posture Rehabilitation)
Diego Espinoza [BioE], Mission Award (MEDiRoller: Revolutionizing Low-cost Vaccine and Drug Delivery in Low-Resource Communities)
Hanyu Xia [IEOR], MEng Showcase Audience Choice Award ([Asurion / Simplr] Build an Intelligent Customer Service Message Parser Using NLP Techniques)
Jasper Lee [CEE], MEng Showcase Audience Choice Award (SafeTport — The Creation of a Crowdsourcing Application for Transportation Safety)
Justin Gonzalez [NE], Alumni Award for Most Innovative Project (Advanced Oxidative Water Treatment at Home)
Rebecca Sung [ME], MEng Showcase Audience Choice Award (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle with Wireless, LED-based Optical Communication System for Ocean Exploration)
Sydney Holgado [CEE], Award for Intellectual Contribution Leadership ([Post Road] GridMod: Decarbonizing the Energy Sector through Cost-Effective Electric Grid Modernization)
Tsang-Yung Wu [EECS], MEng Showcase Audience Choice Award (Affordable Smart Bandage to Monitor Chronic Wounds)
Tamara Perreault [ME], MEng Showcase Audience Choice Award ([Squishy Robotics] Air-Droppable Sensor Robots for Emergency Response)
Integrative and team-driven learning within the MEng capstone experience was originally published in Berkeley Master of Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.