Senior engineering students in Grand Valley State University's Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing will display their talents and expertise at the annual Engineering Design Conference on Friday, August 1, from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering and the Keller Engineering Lab Building on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.
On display will be ten projects that were designed and built to address actual problems and needs of area manufacturing companies. The conference celebrates the successful completion of the Capstone Design Program, in which teams of senior engineering students solve real-world design problems. The teams are sponsored by participating industries and other organizations. The projects take two semesters to complete, and at the end the companies who participate have an actual working product. The costs for the sponsoring industries are materials and a small project fee.
The students are not paid for their work, but instead gain college credit and valuable real-life hands-on working experience within the field of engineering. This year marks investment from regional manufacturers of over $1 million for projects in the past sixteen years. The projects on display Friday, August 1st were completely designed, built, and tested.
Local sponsors of this year’s projects include: Dornerworks, Inc; Gentex, Corp; Gill Electronics, Inc; L-3 Communications, Inc; Blackmer; SAF Holland; Autocam; DeWys Maufactoring; Uniform Color Company; Rapid-Line, Inc. The day culminates in the Order of the Engineer ceremony, which is a special commencement ritual for engineering students. The graduates earn their degrees later in the year than the traditional spring ceremony because they must complete a year-long co-op experience. In the ceremony, each student receives an iron ring, placed on the little finger of the working hand, which symbolizes bridging the step between training and experience. The practice started in Canada and is firmly established in the U.S.
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