Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the ISCP program. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, feel free to contact us.
Can you fix my …?
Typically, no. Our students are training to become engineers and engineering technologists rather than technicians. Their training is focused on design and engineering support rather than diagnosis and repair.
However, we may be able to design replacements for valuable equipment or components that are no longer available and cannot be repaired.
When do the projects start and what is their duration?
- Projects for the diploma programs start in September and January and run for 4 months.
- Projects for the degree program start in September and run for 8 months.
How do I know if my project is suitable for this program?
Projects in the area of Electrical and Computer Engineering (including communications, computer, power, and control engineering) are welcome for consideration. Projects can involve research, proof-of-concept or product development. We have examples of previous projects.
If your project involves only software, it may be better suited to the Industry Sponsored Student Projects program run by the School of Computing and Academic Studies.
Since there is no guarantee that students will select your project, and if it’s selected, there is no guarantee it will be completed successfully or on time, projects should not address problems whose success or timing are critical to your organization.
What kind of skills should I expect the students to have?
Please see the course descriptions for the programs offering capstone projects:
- Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Diploma
- Bachelor of Engineering Degree
How do I improve the chances of my project being selected?
Students tend to select projects that have well-defined, achievable goals. Projects should also offer enough challenge to be rewarding and allow students to apply their knowledge and possibly learn new skills.
- Clarify any industry-specific terms or use “layman’s language.”
- Include examples of what you are looking for. If possible, elaborate on any listed components, features or functions.
- Clarify the scope of the project; possibly separate the project into more than one project, and/or state willingness to modify the scope and to divide the project into smaller parts as appropriate once students begin.
- Specify the technologies to be used or suggest several options.
- If possible, explain that people with technical and domain knowledge, will be available to provide support during the project.
How do I know if my project is appropriately scoped?
It’s best to be conservative. If you suspect that the project is too big, it almost certainly is. If your project is selected, the first priority of the initial meeting with the student(s) will be to negotiate a feasible scope.
Can I submit or re-submit an existing/previous project?
This depends largely on the current state of the project. If it is documented well enough and students in a different team can begin working productively within a week, then a project continuation is feasible.
What is the participation fee?
Sponsors are charged a $200 participation fee for each selected project. This money is pooled and used to fund all capstone projects.
The participation fee is not a payment for services. Students are not paid for working on the project, and are not employees of BCIT, or of the sponsor.
The participation fee is not a payment for goods. Materials purchased by BCIT for student projects remain the property of BCIT. A sponsor who wishes to keep something produced during the project (e.g. a prototype) may purchase the materials (in addition to paying the participation fee).
An invoice for the participation fee will be sent to the sponsor of each selected project. The fee will be charged per project, per term.
Who owns the students’ work?
According to BCIT Policy 6601 [PDF] (“Intellectual Property”), students own IP produced by them in the course of their studies.
In cases where students retain ownership of their IP, the project’s documentation (schematics, source code, mechanical drawings, etc.) will be published in the BCIT Institutional Repository under a Creative Commons license. In the large majority of cases, no patent protection is sought.
Any confidentiality agreements and IP assignments should balance the interests of the sponsor and students. In most cases, they will be mutual non-disclosure and limited IP licensing agreements rather than those typically used for employees. Such agreements should be executed before the start of the project.
In all cases, the agreements must allow students to present and publish a final report containing enough detail for the students’ work to be evaluated, and a grade to be assigned.
We strongly discourage no-compete or similar clauses that would restrict students’ future employment options.