Hands-On Learning at the College of Engineering - Senior Design Competition
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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 Senior Design Awards Reception 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.

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. Various levels of interaction are possible, from suggesting an idea, to sponsoring a senior design project, or mentoring and coaching student teams.

Benefit to Students

  • Networking within an industry
  • Real-life engineering product development
  • Real-life engineering design process cycle experience
  • Application of class material to engineering problems
  • Access to company resources

Benefit to Industry Sponsors

  • Access to possible engineering hires for recruitment
  • Needed engineering work accomplished
  • Early training of future recruits
  • Access to university resources for collaboration
  • Networking with university researchers

If you or your company are interested in becoming a team project mentor, discussing a project idea, or receiving our Senior Design Project Handbook to find out how you can get involved, please contact the College’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Yingtao Jiang at yingtao.jiang@unlv.edu or 702-895-2533.

Do you have an idea for a Senior Design project our students could work on? Complete our Senior Design Idea form and we will be in touch!


In addition to mentoring students or providing project ideas, you or company can get involved in Senior Design by sponsoring the event and awards. Sponsorship opportunities include:

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

For more information about sponsorships, contact Molly Marks at molly.marks@unlv.edu or 702-895-3281.

Senior Design Overview

Senior Design - Overview

To view prior student project videos, please visit our YouTube Channel and peruse our Senior Design Playlists.

For copies of prior year project catalogs, please email engineering@unlv.edu with "Senior Design Booklet Request" in the subject line.