Asee peer logo

Partnership In Undergraduate Research Experience

Download Paper |


2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Graduate Education and Undergraduate Research in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1146.1 - 12.1146.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jerry Visser South Dakota State University

visit author page

JERRY VISSER is Operations Manager of the Product Development Center at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, where he brings conceptual ideas to tangible products. He serves as a faculty member for the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program. He leads the American Society for Quality as Chair of the Southeast South Dakota Sub-section.

visit author page


Kurt Rosentrater USDA-ARS

visit author page

KURT A ROSENTRATER is a Lead Scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, in Brookings, SD, where he is spearheading a new initiative to develop value-added uses for residue streams resulting from biofuel manufacturing operations. He is formerly an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, in the Department of Technology. He received the Faculty of the Year award in 2002 sponsored by the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Partnership in Undergraduate Research Experience

Practical laboratory and work experience has been helpful in reinforcing the undergraduate educational experience. With limited resources, individual organizations may struggle to give a student a well rounded opportunity. Most undergraduates work within internships or cooperative educational frameworks with one entity. At South Dakota State University, the Product Development Center (PDC) has initiated a collaborative research project with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Brookings for the benefit of undergraduate students. This collaborative framework with the United States Department of Agriculture ARS grows from three key aspects. First, the students at both the ARS and the PDC exchange concepts and work interactively on projects. This provides a wider scope to how their research efforts connect to the greater scope of both the PDC and ARS. Second, the PDC and ARS pool equipment and laboratory tools which would be prohibitively expensive for each individual organization to operate. Students can observe and utilize these devices to add breadth to their experience. Third, students work together with Manufacturing Engineering Technology faculty and Bioprocess Engineers. This adds another perspective to solving research problems. Further, the ARS is a federally operated lab while the PDC runs with supervision of the state university. The goal of the paper is to provide a functional framework for enhancing the undergraduate research practice. This paper shows the synergistic nature of sharing resources for the improved educational experience of the student. Two examples of the student involvement will be illustrated based on the three aspects of interactive projects, pooled resources, and different perspectives. One student primarily used a background from manufacturing engineering technology with knowledge in CNC machining. The other student used an educational background from physics and fundamental science.


Engineering and technology departments have a long history of developing partnerships with organizations external to the university in order to augment educational and research efforts, to ensure that curricula are aligned with current industrial needs, and also to streamline and increase the impact that these departments can have in the larger industrial community. A few examples include alliances with companies such as engine manufacturers1, hand tool manufacturers2, precision engineering data storage manufacturers3, electronics, metal, HVAC, and other manufacturers4. Additionally, some academic institutions have developed partnerships to commercialize research and technology breakthroughs5.

One avenue that some departments consider is to partner with a government agency, or one of the federal laboratories. NASA, for example, has been involved in academic partnerships with engineering programs6.

Along similar lines, the goal of this paper is to discuss a partnership that has been developed between the Department of Technology and Management at South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, which is a federal laboratory,

Visser, J., & Rosentrater, K. (2007, June), Partnership In Undergraduate Research Experience Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2884

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015