June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Design in Engineering Education
13.1409.1 - 13.1409.14
Working with Industry Sponsors in a Multidisciplinary Senior Design Program
Abstract This paper will present the advantages and disadvantages of involving industry in engineering senior design projects and courses. There are many issues and concerns that must be addressed when working with companies, since the underlying cultures of academia and industry are distinctly different. Further, each organization develops different goals and objectives with respect to their participation in the program. The following topics are addressed:
• Pursuing Company Sponsors: There are many important attributes of potential participating companies: size, proximity, connections to the university, number of alumni, and ability to financially participate. Examples of ways to reach and interest industrial sponsors are listed.
• Statement of Work: While a company may identify a project, a completed project is often a secondary goal. Companies want to identify new employees, and a senior design project is one way to meet graduating seniors and assess their ability to work in their organization. Still, a viable statement of work must be written so that the students can work on a real-world engineering problem.
• Intellectual Property: While a senior design project usually does not create valuable intellectual property, there is a possibility the work may be patentable. Who owns this work? This section describes several examples of assigning or identifying ownership BEFORE the work is done.
• Company Involvement: One of the most difficult parts of an industrial-based senior design program is ensuring the company employees actually participate. They have so little time, and if a project is to have any hope of success, a company employee must help define and/or guide the work. This section describes activities we use to increase company/student communication and contact.
This paper will present observations on each of these topics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's programs. Student outcomes are also identified.
1. Introduction Senior design capstone courses offer engineering students an opportunity to apply the skills they have learned throughout their undergraduate education to an applied engineering project in a team environment. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Engineering has integrated a multi-disciplinary senior design program that spans all of the engineering departments. Industry sponsors have been identified and incorporated into the program to allow students to work on real world problems. These sponsors are afforded the opportunity to initiate elective research projects in their respective areas of interest while working closely with seniors that the company may be interested in recruiting.
Conrad, J., & Heybruck, W., & Hoch, D., & Kane, M., & Schmidt, P., & Skinner, F., & Thurman, L. (2008, June), Working With Industry Sponsors In A Multidisciplinary Senior Design Program Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3827
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