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Challenges/Issues In A Industry Academic Collaboration

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Software Engineering Curriculum Support

Tagged Division

Software Engineering Constituent Committee

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.318.1 - 11.318.8



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Paper Authors


Jayathi Raghavan Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Jayathi Raghavan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics in 2000 and MS in Computer Science in 1998 from Washington State University. Dr. Raghavan has taught a variety of mathematics courses, programming and database systems courses for the past six years. Her current area of interests are, Computational Mathematics, Database Systems and Software Engineering. She has worked on industry and government funded projects in the area of database systems and mathematics education. She has made several presentations and publications in these areas.

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Massood Towhidnejad Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona Beach

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Massood Towhidnejad ( is chair and Professor of Computer and software engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering in 1990 at University of Central Florida. Dr. Towhidnejad current areas of interests are Software Engineering, Software Quality Assurance, and Software Testing. Over the past 15 years, he has worked on number of projects founded by government and industries. The result of his work has been published in over 60 articles.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Challenges in an Industry-Academic Collaboration


Studies have shown the benefits of industry-academic collaborations for the students, faculty and industry partners. However, there are many challenges in establishing such collaborations that if not addressed, may result to either the failure of such collaboration or an unpleasant experience for parties involved. In this paper, the authors first summarize some of the advantages of such collaborations as it is reflected by their experience and in literature survey. This is followed by identifying a series of challenges they may arise. Some of the challenges mentioned in this paper may be familiar to experienced collaborators, and hence this paper is intended for audiences who are new to collaboration or who intend to pursue such collaborations in the future. In this paper, the authors mainly concentrate on the issues that are more relevant to collaborations in the area of computing and software engineering.


Over the past decade there have been several studies conducted on the benefits of Industry-Academic Collaboration. Such collaborations are accepted to be of mutual benefit to stakeholders in both organizations.

In an academic institution, there are numerous benefits for the students, and the faculty involved in these collaborations. The following provides a sample of these benefits6,7,8:

Potential Benefit to Students Non-curricular learning. Students who work on collaboration projects are expected to learn industry practice and new technology, which may not be part of the curriculum. This enables such students to face unfamiliar situations with confidence and courage. Scholarships and stipends. With graduate tuitions on the rise all over the country, students are in more need of research assistantships than ever. The industry collaboration provides the funding for academic research, which in turn helps provide scholarship for the students in the form of either stipends or tuition waivers. Experience working on real-world projects and settings. Students are expected to work on projects throughout their curriculum, more so in technological programs. But most often, students end up working on small projects in small-scale world, and typically on their own or with one additional person. When such students graduate and are employed by the industry, they are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project that they have to work with. The industry-academic collaboration provides an opportunity for the students to work on the large-scale projects, and large group of people, which is closer to what they are expected to face after graduation. In addition, industry projects, typically are associated with hard deadlines, students who worked on these projects learn to adhere to these deadline. Increase job prospects after graduation. A student who has worked on collaboration projects often are familiar with industry culture, appreciates quality and are often willing to learn new things to keep abreast of the technological and environmental

Raghavan, J., & Towhidnejad, M. (2006, June), Challenges/Issues In A Industry Academic Collaboration Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--242

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