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Industry And Academia: A Synergistic Interaction That Enhances Undergraduate Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Design Throughout the ChE Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.728.1 - 9.728.10



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Paper Authors

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Mariano Savelski

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Stephanie Farrell

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Robert Hesketh

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C. Stewart Slater

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

Session 1413


Stephanie Farrell, Robert P. Hesketh, C. Stewart Slater, and Mariano J. Savelski Department of Chemical Engineering Rowan University Glassboro, NJ USA


Rowan University has developed a program that fosters synergistic interaction between industry and academia. This program provides a mechanism for performing industrially sponsored research or design projects in an academic environment. One of the unique features of this program is its integration into the undergraduate curriculum at our university. Participation in this Engineering Clinic program is required of all Engineering undergraduate students for all four semesters of their junior and senior years.

Students work in multidisciplinary teams on semester-long or year-long projects that are supported by external sponsors. In addition to providing a mechanism to introduce emerging technologies relevant to regional industries, the clinics provide the students with exposure to industrial projects with real deadlines and deliverables, and an opportunity to develop their project management, teamwork and oral and written communication skills.

This program offers the industrial sponsor a cost-effective approach to problem solving with potential for a high return on investment, through technical assistance from advanced undergraduate engineering students supervised by faculty. In addition, the company has the opportunity to watch for potential interns and employees for future hire.

This paper presents case studies which examine successful synergistic interaction between industry and academia through the Rowan Engineering Clinic Program. The case studies focus on the integration of industrial problem solving into the curriculum, the development of three successful and different relationships with companies in the region, and benefits to students, faculty and industry.


Undergraduate engineering and technology students benefit from “real-world” experiences which are usually obtained through internship and co-op experiences. Through these work experiences, students have the opportunity to apply their technical skills to industrially-relevant problems, gain exposure to company culture, and build a foundation which helps provide motivation for future learning in an academic environment. While these “real-world”

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering"

Savelski, M., & Farrell, S., & Hesketh, R., & Slater, C. S. (2004, June), Industry And Academia: A Synergistic Interaction That Enhances Undergraduate Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13049

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