The School of Engineering stresses project-based learning through real problems from external clients to create future leaders and problem solvers. At the heart of it all is the Innovation Center! "Best in Class" —The Kern Family Foundation, 2010
The Innovation Center
Since 1996, students have solved over 600 industry problems for 130 different clients while meeting or exceeding client expectations over 90 percent of the time! Success begins with our first-year students who learn the product realization process as they are exposed to entrepreneurial thinking, business acumen and customer awareness. These skills are used throughout their education, culminating in a senior-year capstone design course solving client problems and developing designs and prototypes as they become proficient in solving today's complex problems.
Do you have a back-burner project? Through the Innovation Center, your project comes to fruition within one or two semesters at a reasonable cost. Our students do the work, and you decide if future time and money should be invested. Student teams develop action plans, designs, deliverables and documentation, moving your idea closer to the marketplace, as well as provide technical analysis, prototypes, conduct intellectual property research with our School of Law, and create market feasibility/business plans with our School of Business Administration. As the project progresses, fresh ideas are presented; and at project's end, you receive a final presentation and report.
Engineering internships and co-ops help you to become a better engineer. Following their philosophy within the classroom, the Innovation Center facilitates project-based learning in your first, third and fourth years. You'll solve problems identified by external clients and develop project management and leadership skills while moving real-world projects closer to the marketplace, a key to engineering success that empowers you to become the complete professional.
The Innovation Center helps you to focus on identifying the customer's needs as part of your solution. Some projects have IP issues to address, so you'll work closely with the School of Law. Some clients need technical as well as market/business feasibility, so you'll partner with the School of Business Administration. When you graduate, you'll have the experience and the best topic of conversation for any job interview!