Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering

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Fred and Harriet Cox Senior Design Competition

Senior Design Experience

The Fred and Harriet Cox Senior Design Competition is a part of every UNLV engineering and computer science student’s academic experience. A capstone to his/her educational career, the senior design project encourages the student to use everything learned in his/her program to create a practical, real-world solution to an engineering or computer science challenge. Each student chooses, plans, designs, and prototypes a product in this program designed to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship. Held each semester, the competition helps to focus students to increase the quality and potential for commercial application for their projects, as well as provide the experience of working in teams, sourcing materials and honing their presentation skills.

Reward and Recognition

During the competition, students from the College of Engineering present their latest creations in tech advancement to a panel of local industry representatives. Judges choose winners in each category based on innovation, commercial potential, presentation quality and sustainability. Cash prizes for first and second place are given in each discipline, as well as various categories. Through the generosity of patrons, Fred and Harriet Cox, as well as award sponsors, the College of Engineering reimburses teams for the costs associated with the creation of their prototype. This ensures that teams are not working under unfair financial constraints, but have the resources they need to excel.

The annual Senior Design Awards Luncheon (fall semester) and Dinner (spring semester), celebrates the students’ achievements and provides their families, faculty and the greater Las Vegas Community an opportunity to share the excitement of their work.

In 2015 the $3 million Fred and Harriet Cox Endowed Senior Design Fund was established to permanently help fund the bi-annual competition and awards banquet.

Taking it Further

Senior Design teams are offered the opportunity to partner with MBA students from the Lee Business School to create a business plan as part of the MBA curriculum. This collaboration has led to great success at the Dominic Marrocco Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition, the Governor’s Cup and the subsequent creation of many successful businesses.

Industry Partners

Teams often get project ideas from industry partners or friends of engineering who have an interesting problem or concept they would like to submit. Teams may also work with an industry mentor or coach to help them throughout the year.

Getting Involved

You or your company can easily get involved in Senior Design and help our Engineering students accomplish their goals. Whether you’re interested in becoming a team project mentor, wish to discuss a project idea, or sponsor the event, you can contact Jack Aylor at jack.aylor@unlv.edu or 702 895-2913. Sponsorship opportunities include:

  • Grand Prize sponsor
  • Departmental/category award sponsor
  • Awards reception sponsor
  • Research project sponsor
  • Student materials sponsor
  • Dinner sponsor