The DOER Center

About the DOER Center

The Design, Optimization, Evaluation, and Redesign (DOER) Center was founded in 2006 to draw upon the diverse knowledge of the School of Engineering to benefit local industry and to foster engagement in the community.  The DOER Center matches industry partners with expert faculty and students in short- to medium-term contracts in the furtherance of the School of Engineering’s educational mission

The DOER Center serves as an industry consulting service for the School of Engineering at GVSU.  It is distinct from the School of Engineering’s co-op program, which places undergraduate engineering students in companies, and the senior-project, which engages 3 to 6 engineering seniors in a two-semester industry-sponsored capstone project.  This service provides an avenue to directly engage expert faculty and students in projects of varying length, schedule, budget, and level of effort. 

Some of the services the DOER Center can provide are:

  • Design consultation services
  • Process Control
  • Design of Experiments
  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis
  • Proposal Preparation and Review
  • Short-Courses for Industry Partners.


The DOER Center matches clients with a team of faculty and students who apply their knowledge to solve advanced industrial problems.  Students involved in the DOER center gain experience in product development and applied research while clients enjoy top-quality, highly supervised support at a negotiated low university rate.  In addition to helping prepare the next generation of engineers by providing real-world learning experiences, your business will enjoy valuable and tangible benefits, including:

  • An academic partner who can help you seek government funding for innovative projects. (Contact DOER to see if your project qualifies for state matching funds).
  • The ability to flex uncommon skills in and out of projects.
  • Retention of all intellectual property affiliated with the project.

Contracting with DOER

  1. Contact DOER:  Please fill out a Sponsored Project Proposal Form from above. Include a very brief (non-proprietary) description of your problem or the skills and equipment you will require. Please include the legal name and address that would be entering into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
  2. Confidentiality Agreement:  The DOER Center will contact you shortly and supply an NDA which binds all GVSU employees to confidentiality.
  3. Discuss Project:  The DOER Center will contact you to discuss the project scope, timeline, level of effort, and personnel preferences.
  4. Meeting with Expert Faculty: The DOER Center will arrange a meeting with the faculty and project leaders who would be contracted to work on the project.  The meeting will be used detail the statement-of-work.
  5. Proposal: The project leaders will present a proposal and contract letter after it receives GVSU approval (usually two or three days).
  6. Your Approval: The project will begin when you approve it.  It will then proceed in billable milestones.
Kennedy Hall

Facilities and Personnel

Every DOER team is led by one of our credentialed and experienced faculty members who take the time to understand your company and its needs.  They will take the time to plan and execute the best possible solutions to your needs. 

By collaborating with GVSU, you gain the additional resources of nearly 85,000 square feet of project space in the John C. Kennedy Hall of Engineering and Fred M. Keller Engineering Laboratories, with state-of-the-art labs including a machine shop with CNC mills and lathes, welding capabilities, rapid prototyping, electronic prototyping, a semiconductor clean room



Advanced Medical Device Institute:  The applied Medical Device Institute (aMDI) serves the med device community as a means to cross the ‘development valley-of-death’, by providing access to researchers, engineers, medical professionals, business and entrepreneurial expertise within an integrated process that includes technical, intellectual property, business review and mentoring. 

EMC Center: GVSU's EMC Center provides pre-compliance testing, design reviews for schematic and PCB layout, electronic diagnostic support, and EMC test plan development.  It is located at 609 Watson Street in Grand Rapids, just west of GVSU's Kennedy Hall of Engineering.  This 4,000 square-foot facility includes a seminar room and the EMC pre-compliance lab.

SCIP:  The Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) is funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and accelerates collaboration between Michigan companies with less than 500 employees and the 15 public universities include GVSU.  Companies can access university resources including faculty expertise, laboratory equipment, testing facilities, prototyping services, and more to further technology commercialization efforts.  Qualified projects receive up to $40,000 in matching funds and university indirect charges are waived. 

EMC Center

DOER Center Director

Karl Brakora

Karl Brakora, Ph.D.

Director, DOER Center
Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering

Office Address: 255 Kennedy Hall of Engineering
Phone: (616) 331-6824
Email: [email protected]

Page last modified March 16, 2021