June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
College Industry Partnerships
Senior design projects are the final academic challenge that many engineering students must accomplish to graduate. Industry partners are heavily recruited by engineering programs nationwide to provide, and even fund, realistic projects that enable a meaningful senior design experience. A project with significant design content, where work is completed in a team environment, is universally desired. What fits the bill better than having students work within industry, maybe even as paid interns, on an active company project? Nothing could be more real since the project is real. Such projects automatically include real schedules, deadlines, constraints, codes, standards, budgets, equipment allocations, contracts and a projected return on the company’s investment or at least a clear demonstration of merit. These projects let students experience real work flow. When the projects include proprietary information, they require a higher level of academic management. They may even become “Super-Secret”. A Super-Secret Senior Design Project or S3 Design Project has more at stake than a run of the mill project. It might be the next version of software or a revolutionary product. The concept, progress, results and any work completed by students must be kept from public disclosure and competitors; therefore, the work, reports, discussions and presentations must be accomplished behind doors that open to only a limited number of people. Management of the S3 Design Project necessitates involving legal counsel and entering into non-disclosure agreements, a memorandum of understanding, contracts, agreements on intellectual property rights, patents, royalties… and so on. Even when everyone on both sides wants to jump start an S3 Design Project, it can take months to organize, lay the ground rules and get a final agreement to proceed. The experience gained by students completing this category of project can be valuable and highly rewarding; however, these projects may also have unexpected implications on learning outcomes, course objectives and program accreditation. After having completed several S3 Design Projects, the techniques to successfully manage and implement student projects that involve higher levels of security and limited disclosure of proprietary information are explored and discussed.
McDonald, B. J., & Pratt, W. F., & Shin, I., & Zbeeb, K. (2017, June), Successful S3 Design Projects Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28878
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