Each spring, on Project Presentation Day, student teams--representing all WPI academic departments--take time out from their studies to present the results of their Major Qualifying Project (MQP) to their faculty advisors and sponsors. The MQP, one of two significant academic projects all undergraduate students complete, is a professional-level design or research experience generally completed in teams and often sponsored by corporations or other external organizations. The projects mirror the kinds of professional work students will tackle in their careers.
The project experience prepares students to lead team efforts, communicate professionally, meet deadlines and exceed expectations, deal with ambiguity and unexpected difficulties, and consider not just the technical, but the ethical and social dimensions of their work. The projects must be thoroughly documented in written reports, and virtually all teams make oral presentations of their results.
Often MQPs lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at regional and national conferences, and patents. Some become the foundations for entrepreneurial ventures. Others become useful innovations and products for their corporate sponsors. But no matter what becomes of an MQP, the chances are it has already served as an effective capstone to a WPI education and a profound steppingstone to a successful and rewarding career and life.
The public is invited to take part in this annual exhibition of the remarkable outcomes of our students' project work.