Senior Capstone Studio is an advanced study of transdisciplinary, collaborative design processes to address real-world problems in sociotechnical innovation provided by clients from industry, business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Activities in this class include: Systems building; project leadership and management, including resource allocation and scheduling; team management; value propositions; project pitches; rapid prototyping.

Studio Structure

This studio class uses a distributed model of instruction. Each team work directly with a faculty mentor. During Fall 2022 I advised three teams working on developing digital-physical systems to identify Forien Object Debris (FOD) in manufacturing process. Students developed multiple projects in collaboration with Boeing experts. These projects ranged from simulation to camera systems able to identify FOD.

System evaluation and user study

A key aspect of this studio is the emphasis technical and user study evaluation. Student teams identify test metrics and provide detailed plans to test their designs. After performing the necessary tasks they provide methods for optimization of their designs.


Throughout the project development across multiple studios students document their projects in a report format. They share their reports with instructors and stakeholders for feedback. We encourage students to write publication ready reports that can be used to file patents and publish in research venues.

Peer-Review and Critique

The peer-review for this studio happened synchronously and after milestone presentations. Students had the opportunity to attend the presentations and provide feedback to peers. External partners were present during the presentations as well which afforded the presenting teams a rich environment to gain insight about their project directions.


We held a showcase for all the students in the Senior Capstone Studio and Transdisciplinary Fusion Studio I in Fall 2022. The following set of images are from all teams presenting in the showcase.


"Virginia Tech and Boeing University-Industry Collaboration; use of a 4-Tier Sociotechnical Approach to Reduce Ergonomics Related Hazards." Shahabedin Sagheb, Gregory Garrett, and Robert Smith.  Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Annual Conference & Expo (IISE 2022)Annual Conference. Proceedings: 1-6, 2022.

"Project-based development as a model for transdisciplinary research and education."Shahabedin Sagheb, Katie Walkup, and Robert Smith. Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics 20.5 (2022): 17-32.

“Project-based Learning Using the Collaborative Sociotechnical Innovation Model” Shahabedin Sagheb, Amy Arnold, Robert Smith. In 14th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy).

"Coalitional Curricular Design: Industry-Academic Co-creation of Technical Communication Modules." Katie Walkup, Shahabedin Sagheb, and Robert Smith. In Proceedings of the 40th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication, pp. 140-142. 2022.

© Shahabedin Sagheb