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Utilizing Industrial Partnerships To Create Successful Grant Proposals

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Successful Grant Proposals

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1421.1 - 11.1421.7



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Paper Authors


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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JEFFREY DONNERBERG Eastern Washington University

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JEFFREY L. DONNERBERG obtained his B. Sc. in Industrial Education and Technology from Bowling Green State University, M. A. Industrial Education, emphasis in Industrial Training, University of Minnesota, Ed.D., Vocational Education, University of Minnesota. He has worked industry and has more than 15 years of teaching experience. His interests include Manufacturing processes, Quality Control and Lean Manufacturing.

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

Utilizing Industrial Partnerships to Create Successful Grant Proposals


Gants proposals are facing increasing competition for the ever shrinking amount of available funding. This reality requires new partnerships to be formed to attract the attention of funding agencies.

The necessity of finding new or improved ways to attract the attention of funding agencies has resulted in symbiotic relationships that not only enhance the funding of a proposal but develop relationships that can add great opportunities for curricular improvements, greater relevancy, and better job opportunities for students in Engineering Technology Programs.

This paper relates Eastern Washington University’s experience of creating and using Industrial Partnerships to submit a successful grant proposal to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) for over $221,000. The Industrial Partnerships formed for this proposal were one of the key factors sited by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Educational Foundation in awarding the grant to Eastern Washington University. The paper also details the many benefits beyond the grant funding that Eastern Washington University’s Mechanical Engineering Technology and Manufacturing degrees will enjoy. These relationships forged during the grant process are certain to reap benefits to the university for many years long after the conclusion of the two year grant. The Industrial Partners have become part of a steering committee for the programs that will continuously help improve the program, improve program outcome assessments, encourage regional companies to offer paid internships to students and allow our graduates to meet the needs of the regional industry.


Universities face a daunting challenge in the current and future economic times. State funding is decreasing at historic proportions.1,2 State supported universities are seeing a decrease in funding per full time equivalent student (FTE).3,4,5 Universities are finding that the state funded percentage of the total cost of educating each student is decreasing and in fact funding is at a 25 year low.6 This has had a drastic effect upon academic departmental budgets resulting in less money to fund laboratory equipment. This problem is further compounded by a decrease in capital expenditures for new buildings and laboratory facilities for undergraduate education by state governments. This has been caused by the tight financial budgets of states as they look for ways to cover budget gaps. The decrease in the state university funding shortfall is even worse in Engineering and Engineering Technology programs. Technology has continued to evolve and increase in complexity requiring new laboratory improvements to ensure that students are properly educated and prepared to enter the new global workforce. The need for new and better facilities during a time of decreasing funding was a real challenge for Eastern Washington University. The Engineering and Design department of Eastern Washington University was housed in a 40 year old building with equipment that in some cases predated the building. The age of the facility and the inability to upgrade the facility to meet the needs of students led to

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Richter, D., & DONNERBERG, J. (2006, June), Utilizing Industrial Partnerships To Create Successful Grant Proposals Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1268

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