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Employing Students In Industrial Outreach

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.255.1 - 5.255.6

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Paper Authors

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Ronald A. Cox

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Richard Grieve

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Jeffrey Mohr

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

Session 1566

Employing Students in Industrial Outreach

Ronald Cox, Jeffrey Mohr, Richard Grieve

Iowa State University


The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University provides engineering and business outreach assistance to Iowa’s 6000 manufacturers. CIRAS is able to amplify the services they offer these companies by employing College of Engineering students as co-ops, interns, and as part-time help. These students work with CIRAS project engineers, providing technical assistance to manufacturers that may not have technical expertise in a given area or that may not have the time to complete engineering work on schedule. Students from a variety of disciplines are employed to assist on projects that involve plant layout, product testing, and design and development of products.


The Center for Industrial Research and Service is the vehicle by which Iowa State University carries out its land-grant service obligation to Iowa’s manufacturers1. The CIRAS mission is to assist Iowa manufacturing firms to improve operational performance. This is accomplished by helping manufacturers identify and analyze manufacturing and managerial problems, by connecting them with the latest technical information, and by assisting them in finding solutions to problems.

CIRAS is an affiliate of the Iowa Manufacturing Extension Partnership2, which is a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership3. The MEP is a nationwide network of over 400 not-for-profit centers with a mission to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the help they need to succeed.

CIRAS has a central staff housed on the ISU campus and a group of field agents that are distributed across the state, typically located in regional extension offices. The staff has expertise in many areas, including product design and testing, ISO and QS 9000, constraint management, plant layout, simulation, MRP systems, e-commerce, and productivity improvement. CIRAS provides services to Iowa’s manufacturers via direct technical assistance, by acting as a liaison to ISU faculty and laboratories, by offering training workshops at regional community colleges, or by referring clients to outside resources, including federal labs, consultants, etc. Approximately 400 projects with manufacturers are completed each year. A distribution of projects by category is displayed below.

Cox, R. A., & Grieve, R., & Mohr, J. (2000, June), Employing Students In Industrial Outreach Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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