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Utilizing Industrial Collaboration To Infuse Undergraduate Research Into The Engineering Technology Curriculum.

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Industrial Collaborations and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1577.1 - 12.1577.12



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Paper Authors


Jason Durfee Eastern Washington University

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JASON DURFEE received his BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He holds a Professional Engineer certification. Prior to teaching at Eastern Washington University he was a military pilot, an engineering instructor at West Point and an airline pilot. His interests include aerospace, aviation, professional ethics and piano technology.

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William Loendorf Eastern Washington University

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WILLIAM R. LOENDORF obtained his B.Sc. in Engineering Science at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University, and M.B.A. at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He holds a Professional Engineer certification and was previously an Engineering Manager at Motorola. His interests include engineering management, real-time embedded systems, and digital signal processing.

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Donald Richter Eastern Washington University

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DONALD C. RICHTER obtained his B. Sc. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University, M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He holds a Professional Engineer certification and worked as an Engineer and Engineering Manger in industry for 20 years before teaching. His interests include project management, robotics /automation and air pollution dispersion modeling.

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

Utilizing Industrial Collaboration to Infuse Undergraduate Research into the Engineering Technology Curriculum


This paper discusses how the Department of Engineering & Design (E&D) at Eastern Washington University (EWU) used real world problems provided by industrial partners to enhance the student’s classroom experience using undergraduate research. Last year the Engineering & Design Department moved into a brand new 93,242 square foot facility. This new facility offered additional lab space along with updated, state-of-the-art equipment. This has positioned the department to work more effectively with members of local industry in collaborative research.

This initiative began when members of local industry came to the department with problems that were important for the further development of their products. Faculty members selected students to work with each company to provide this undergraduate research effort. These research projects allowed students to provide solutions, research data, and/or suggest improvements to manufacturing processes. Students provided a valuable service to these community industries both by utilizing university equipment and facilities unavailable at these industries and by providing research and analysis that these companies may not have had time to complete. A faculty member supervised each student to ensure the quality and completion of the research. Students dealt directly with an individual at the company in order to understand the work to be done and how the results were to be presented.

By utilizing real problems from industry the continuation of this program provides a mutual benefit to students, the Department, the University, and local industry. The University is supporting this initiative by providing resources through a Strategic Planning Grant to implement additional projects across the different major programs of the Department (MET, CET, EE, Construction, Design and Manufacturing). This paper will focus on three particular projects undertaken by students during the 2005-’06 academic year. These three projects involved data gathering of new material properties, examinations of dimensional variances in a manufacturing process, and the proof of concept to implement robotic operations to replace manual processes at a local industry.


Engineering Technology Students of today need to be better prepared to meet the challenges of the new global economy. To help accomplish this goal students need exposure to real world problems provided by industrial partners. A perfect situation to implement this is through the use of undergraduate research in collaboration with local industry. The infusion of real world problems through undergraduate research helps the students understand the relevance of the

Durfee, J., & Loendorf, W., & Richter, D. (2007, June), Utilizing Industrial Collaboration To Infuse Undergraduate Research Into The Engineering Technology Curriculum. Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1972

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