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Industrial Microscopy Specialization Capstone Project

The Capstone Project consists of using the instrumentation and skills acquired during four completed courses and associated practicum sessions (Sample Preparation, Polarized Light Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Infrared Microscopy) to characterize and identify three unknown samples.

Capstone Project Format

The Capstone Project closely follows the same format used to characterize particles in the McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles. The McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles is an online reference for analytical microscopists needing to identify an unknown, or who simply want to learn more about a particular substance. If you are unfamiliar with the McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles, you can learn more at  First time users will need to create a free account.

Access to Instrumentation

Several options provide flexibility to help you complete your projects.

  1. Students can reserve time at HCAS, after participating in each course, and use ALL of the equipment necessary to complete each course practicum as well as the Capstone Project.
  2. Students who have access to some of the instrumentation at their lab can reserve time on HCAS instruments that are not available at their lab. For instance, if you don’t have a scanning electron microscope at your facility, we can make one available for you to use.
  3. Students who have access to all the necessary equipment at their lab may complete the Capstone Project using their own equipment.

Capstone Project Timeline

Once you begin the Capstone Project you will have nine weeks to complete it. Every three weeks you will submit a complete analysis of one of the three samples given to you. Students are encouraged to submit a rough draft of each component of the Capstone to receive feedback from the instructor before turning in the final project. Your analysis will be reviewed by senior technical staff from McCrone Associates. After the final sample has been evaluated and assessed at 90% or higher, you will receive the Specialization in Industrial Microscopy certificate.