home > Industry & Employers > Sponsor Employees, Research & Projects > SDM Core Integrated Team Projects

The integrated team project is part of a nine-month core course on the foundations of systems architecture (SA), systems engineering (SE) and project management (PM). In these projects, teams dive deeply into the design and management of particular technologically enabled systems. These team projects run for 4 months, from January to May. 

Sponsoring an MIT SDM Spring Project is an opportunity to work with a team of experienced technical professionals as they apply the principles, methods, and tools they are learning from the SDM Core.  This can serve as a means to kick-start a new program within your company, investigate a new technology, gain in-depth feedback on a current program, or even be an avenue for experienced internships and full-time hires.  Additionally, you gain access to the MIT SDM community; providing opportunities to develop relationships beyond the project that could extend to other project, research, and SDM engagements. There is no fee for companies to pitch a challenge or to sponsor a spring project.

We encourage sponsors from industry, government, and other organizations to prepare a challenge proposal, pitch to our students, and support the student teams as they work on these projects. 

Not all proposals are selected. Students vote on their top 3 preferred proposals, and those rankings are used to form teams of 4 to 5 students. In 2020, 25 of 36 challenges were selected.

For an overview of the program, the spring projects, and sponsor expectations, check out this video:

Types of Projects

All challenge proposals must involve a system to be designed by the students. There is flexibility in the types of challenges that make good projects and we will work with you to refine your pitch. Potential challenges may include:

  • Bringing a promising new cutting-edge technology from the lab to market 
  • Enhancing an existing product by infusing one or more new technologies
  • Investigating a particularly troubling or dysfunctional product and suggesting significant improvements
  • A historical case study of a systems project that was particularly successful or unsuccessful and extracting lessons learned for the future

Sponsors should be aware that projects are presented publicly, though students can be asked to keep guidance and sponsor comments private. Highly sensitive or confidential projects may not be appropriate for this challenge.

Sponsor Commitment

Sponsors are expected to have one representative to pitch remotely to the students during the second week of January and participate in kick-off events. There will be two different sessions for pitches to accommodate for different time zones, on Monday, January 11 (afternoon EST) and Tuesday, January 12 (morning EST); you will only need to attend and pitch in one session.

Sponsors are expected to spend a minimum of 24 hours supporting the project:

Challenge Preparation and Pitch (virtual)4 hours for prep and pitch
Team Guidance16 hours (1 hour per week)
Final Feedback4 hours for review

Key Dates

1st Round Draft Proposals DueNovember 20, 2020
2nd Round Draft Proposals DueDecember 10, 2020
Challenge Showcase (Virtual)January 11 and 12, 2021 – attend one session
MIT Spring TermFebruary – May 2021
Final PresentationsMay 2021 (exact date TBD)

Draft proposals do not need to be complete. All project information should be ready for delivery to the team by January 4, 2021.

Topic Submission Process

Industry, government, and other organizations are encouraged to review the Call for Proposals guide and prepare a draft challenge topic as soon as possible. Proposals will not be considered after January 1, 2021.

Submissions should be mailed as a 1-page PowerPoint slide based on the provided template. Send your submission to sdm-teamproject@mit.edu.

Information Sessions

SDM will host virtual information sessions for interested project sponsors in the fall of 2020. Dates and registration information will be available soon. To be added to our sponsor mailing list for updates and more information, please fill out this form.

For specific questions, please contact the project team at sdm-teamproject@mit.edu.