Directed Energy Capstone Projects

DEPS, the Directed Energy Society, is encouraging undergraduate students to pursue capstone or senior design projects in directed energy (DE) areas. To this end, DEPS has established a program that funds suitable projects. This program is made possible by funding from the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office and from DEPS.

More undergraduate/graduate education programs

Summer internships

Graduate scholarships


The scope of DE projects can include high energy laser and high power microwave components, systems and effects. The disciplines include but are not limited to these:

  • science - physics, chemistry
  • engineering - electrical, optical, chemical, mechanical, and materials
  • mathematics and computer science

Sample Topics

Some sample topic areas are listed here. Many of these are titles of actual projects that have been funded. These do not exhaust the possibilities, but are included here to illustrate some possible projects. Any topic within scope can be considered.

Sample Project Topics List

Integration of a high energy laser onto military vehicle

Precision alignment station for locking laser diode bars with VBGs

Nanometer resolution full field microscopy

Laser communication system

Optically pumped semiconductor analysis in the mid-infrared

High-resolution near-field imaging system for high power diode lasers

Transient RF effects on computer chips

Solid state laser thermal management

Laser efficiency improvements

Optical materials for high energy laser applications

Tracking and pointing algorithms for long range laser beams

Laser effects on materials

DE bioeffects

Request for Proposals

Proposals to pursue projects in areas listed within the scope defined above will be accepted from currently enrolled junior or senior students at U.S. colleges and universities or from faculty at these schools who advise and direct such students on capstone projects. It is not required that the subject of the proposed project be one of the sample topics. Funded projects may have a period of up to nine months, but students must not graduate before the end of the project. The project must be part of the students' curriculum to include earning academic credit for the project work.

Projects will be selected for funding based on a proposal. This proposal must include these parts:

Title page
The title page will include title of the project, names, majors, and anticipated graduation date of any project team members, if known; name, department and contact information for all faculty advisors; and name and location of the school.

Description of the project
The description of the project is limited to three pages. The proposal will provide an overview of the project and its pertinence to directed energy. It will describe the project, including an objective, background, methods, and expected results. Methods can include analysis, experimentation, theoretical exploration, applications of engineering design principles, simulation and other approaches. Projects can be pursued by individuals or by teams. If teams, roles for each team member should be identified. The description should provide a justification for the expenditures in the project budget. The production of a final report by the students should be included in the project.

Schedule and budget
This portion of the proposal will include a schedule for the project and a proposed budget. The schedule cannot exceed nine months, and the project must conclude before any participating student's anticipated graduation date. The expected start date and end date should be specified.

The proposal schedule must include a period of time to produce a final report of at least three pages, which must be approved by the faculty advisor and submitted to DEPS by the end date. The report must be the work of the students who work on the project. The report will summarize the technical achievements and account for the expenditure of funds.

Funds can be requested for equipment, supplies, services, or other requirements to support the project as outlined in the description of the project. The total budget cannot exceed $2,500. The funding is intended as a supplement to enhance the educational experience. Salaries and honoraria will not be funded. No overhead charges of any kind will be allowed.

Proposal Submission

Proposals are due by 1 July for projects to begin in the fall and by 1 November for projects to begin in the spring. Proposals should be sent as an email attachment to Mark Neice at

Proposals may be submitted by faculty or students. If submitted by students, a copy of the email must be sent to the main faculty advisor.

Proposals will be judged by their pertinence to directed energy, the clarity of the explication, and the likelihood of success. Faculty advisors and students may be contacted for clarification of issues during the evaluation process.


If you have questions about any of this, contact Mark Neice at or 505-998-4910.

Copyright 2017 Directed Energy Professional Society   DHTML/JavaScript Menus by OpenCube
DEPS Policies and Terms of Use

Last updated: 25 August 2017