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Student Research Opportunities In Industry

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.905.1 - 6.905.5

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Paper Authors

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Brenda Morton

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Raymond Thompson

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

Session 1347

Student Research Opportunities in Industry

Raymond E. Thompson, Brenda A. Morton

Purdue University


In 1995 the Aviation Technology (AT) Industrial Advisory Committee suggested the need to provide additional communication, team building, presentation, and business skills for AT students. In response, the AT department began working with several air carriers doing applied research in the areas of human factors and safety. Projects include shift turnover communication, ramp safety, lifting ergonomics, flow mapping, and error prediction. Each project is under the leadership of a student team leader with additional students working in support. The teams are paired with a faculty member.

The main goal of these projects is for students to obtain real experience, enhance their leadership and team skills, and improve presentation skills. Students coordinate all activities from designing metrics to arranging for travel. This has created a pipeline of highly qualified students with enhanced skills beyond what the classroom can provide. These students are highly recruited upon graduation. The AT department acts as a partner, not a consultant to the industrial participant. Solutions are devised, tested, and implemented by the students and the air carrier works in conjunction with the students during this process. As the project evolves, the AT department withdraws to an advisory position leaving the air carrier with something they helped devise and continue with on their own.

The benefits to the students have been tremendous. Numerous papers co-authored with the faculty have been presented at significant conferences worldwide. Students work with all levels of personnel including upper management and vice presidents making presentations of results. Over 50 internships supporting these projects have resulted during 2000 alone. Establishing applied industry research partnership opportunities has been a tremendous success for all involved, especially the students. The exposure and experience gained is invaluable in preparing for their upcoming careers in the aerospace and air transport industries.

I. Introduction

The goal of the Applied Research Program is provide real life educational experiences and applied research opportunities through a linkage between industry and the university. The research is results oriented with Purdue working with industry to provide practical solutions for improved safety, efficiency, and profitability. The program is open to any qualified student at Purdue. Students must participate in several orientation programs and complete coursework in

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Morton, B., & Thompson, R. (2001, June), Student Research Opportunities In Industry Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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