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A Successful Partnership between Industry and Academia: Curriculum Improvement, Research, and Outreach through Collaboration with Industry

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.115.1 - 24.115.18

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Paper Authors


Ivan Lopez Hurtado Northern New Mexico College

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IVAN LOPEZ HURTADO received his B.S. degree in Industrial Physics Engineering from Tec de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, 1995. M.S. degree in Automation from Tec de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, 1998 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA in 2008. He is currently the Department of Engineering, Chair at Northern New Mexico College.

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Jorge Crichigno Northern New Mexico College

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Jorge Crichigno received the BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the Catholic University of Asuncion, Paraguay, in 2004, the MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, in 2008 and 2009 respectively. In 2007, he was visiting the Wireless Sensor Network Lab in the School of Electronic, Information and Electrical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His research interests include wireless and optical networks, graph theory, mathematical optimization, network security and undergraduate STEM education. He has served as reviewer and TPC member of IEEE journals and conferences and as panelist for NSF STEM undergraduate education initiatives.

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Alfredo J. Perez Northern New Mexico College

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Alfredo J. Perez received his M.S. degree in Computer Science and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of South Florida, in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Since 2011, he has been with Northern New Mexico College, Espanola (NM), where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering. Prior to coming to USA to pursue graduate studies, he obtained a B.S degree in Systems Engineering from Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla Colombia (2006). His research interests are in the areas of Mobile Computing/Sensing, Data mining, Distributed Systems and STEM education. He has coauthored several journal and conference papers as well as the book ”Location Aware Information systems - Developing Real-time Tracking Systems”, published by CRC Press.

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Topics: CIP - College-Industry Partnership; MIND - outreach and recruitment of minorityengineering students (including K-12).A Successful Partnership between Industry and Academia: Improving Curriculum, Research, and Outreach by Collaboration with IndustryThe Public Service Company of the State has been working on an Energy StorageProject. This project is the nation’s first solar storage facility fully integrated into autility’s power grid. This award-winning project demonstrates that a battery system canbe used to effectively address the challenge of intermittency. The high-tech batterysystem both smooths out fluctuation in solar power output caused by clouds and storesexcess energy that can be shifted or dispatched when it is most needed.Through a partnership with the Company, our institution, which is a Hispanic and Native-American serving institution, has played a very active role in the project. Through thisproject, the Department of Engineering in collaboration with the Math & ScienceDepartment has: a) improved the curriculum for two engineering bachelor programs; b)contextualized assignments for developmental math courses; c) provided access of state-of-the-art solar data for undergraduate research; and d) developed an outreach componentto involve hundreds of local middle school students in solar energy projects.The case study discussed in this paper describes the collaboration strategies that haveshaped the institution’s involvement in the project. In particular, the paper addresses thefunding model; the role of faculty, students, and Company personnel; project marketing;project sustainability; the interplay of these strategies to create a win-win relationship forour institution, the Company and the local community.Examples of curriculum developed and implemented are presented throughout the paper.A summary of statistics and results of the collaboration are also presented.

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