Engineering Design Conference Highlights the Benefits of Industry/University Collaborations

August 31, 2021

Engineering Design Conference Highlights the Benefits of Industry/University Collaborations

For more than 25 years, the School of Engineering has hosted the annual Design Conference to celebrate the graduating class with industry partners, sponsors, and the community. This year's Engineering Design Conference was held in a hybrid format due to Covid, with some events that occurred in person and others that were virtual.

Experiential learning has been at the core of programs in the Padnos College of Engineering & Computing (PCEC) since its conception, creating a uniquely practical learning environment in which GVSU students gain real-world experience through course projects, co-op placements, capstone projects, and industry-sponsored graduate fellowships. We are grateful to our industry collaborators, whose support and partnership makes these experiences possible.

This year's Co-op Employer Forum focused on 'Maximizing the Benefits of an Industry/University Collaboration.' PCEC Dean, Paul Plotkowski, and Assistant Dean, Casey Thelenwood, shared the Padnos College's industry and community engagement model. Steve Heethuis, of NN Autocam Precision Components Group, discussed his company's engagement with GVSU and the engineering co-op program. Mary Andrade, of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University Louisville, provided information on the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) resources available to industry partners interested in experiential education. A recording of the presentation and slides are available on the PCEC Industry & Community Engagement website.

Industry project sponsors, incoming students, and family members were invited to the Innovation Design Center to view the engineering students' senior design projects (check out the projects on the EDC website). Students demonstrated their hard work and learning as they described the iterative processes they went through in order to reach their final designs and explained the problems that each project was designed to solve. View the 2021 Engineering Design Conference photo gallery.

The event concluded with the Order of the Engineer Ring Ceremony, in which proud family members looked on as graduating students became official members of the engineering profession and pledged to use their knowledge and skills for the betterment of humanity. Keynote speaker Reuben Sarkar, President and CEO of the American Center for Mobility, encouraged students to make ethical choices throughout their careers and shared some of the moral dilemmas he had faced during his own career journey. View the 2021 Order of the Engineer Ring Ceremony photo gallery.

Each year, students and faculty of the School of Engineering recognize outstanding contributions to the co-op and senior design project learning experiences (View the Co-op Award Criteria).

2021 Award Recipients are:

  • Abigail Hendrick, 2021 Computer Engineering Graduate, Gentex Corporation: Co-op Student-of-the-Year
  • Dr. Sanjivan Manoharan, Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor: Co-op Faculty Advisor-of-the-Year
  • Andy DeRosia, Test Engineering Manager, L3Harris Avionics Systems: Co-op Supervisor-of-the-Year
  • DornerWorks, Kentwood, MI: Co-op Employer-of-the-Year
  • Robert Thompson, T&T Tools: Outstanding Industry Sponsor
  • Embedded IoT OTA Platform, Team 4, DornerWorks: Outstanding Senior Project
  • Dual-Lane Slab Forming Line, Team 6, Egan Food Technologies: Senior Project Honorable Mention
  • GE Memory Characterization System, Team 8, GE Aviation: Senior Project Honorable Mention

View the 2021 Co-op Award Recipient Presentations.

Visit the School of Engineering website.

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Page last modified August 31, 2021