Student Consulting Program at Olin College Attracts Record Number of Corporate Sponsors

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Hands-on Program Prepares Students for Real-World Engineering Challenges

In only a few months, the multidisciplinary, collaborative design methods of the SCOPE project team at Olin have delivered the foundation for an exciting solution to our challenge.

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering today announced that 15 corporate partners, a record number, have agreed to sponsor teams of Olin College seniors through its Senior Capstone Program in Engineering (SCOPE). Each SCOPE (http://scope.olin.edu/about/) team is tasked with addressing a significant engineering problem facing the sponsor company. Participating companies include Adsys Controls Inc., AGCO, Analogic Corp, Autodesk, Boston Scientific Corp., Brandeis University’s Medical Sciences Research Center, Draper Laboratory, IBM, Lexmark, MIT Lincoln Lab, Parietal Systems Inc., Raytheon, and Rockwell Automation.

“With their unique education blending engineering and innovation, Olin students bring an entrepreneurial approach to solving problems. Why are we back for the fifth year in a row participating in the SCOPE program? Because of the continued success of these students in examining context, determining real need, and solving problems,” said Dr. Shaun Love, Manager of Software Research at Lexmark International, Inc.

This year’s projects include designing a robot capable of hitting a ping-pong ball back and forth to demonstrate Adsys’ high speed control systems; improving migration resistance in esophageal stents for Boston Scientific’s biomedical product development efforts; and improving Lexmark’s data collection and analysis methods to deliver better energy efficiency and cost savings to their customers.

Another project is sponsored by Autodesk, Inc., for work with their Autodesk Inventor 3D design software tool. This SCOPE team has been charged with improving the learning experience for Inventor by re-thinking the way self-paced learning can be integrated into a software product. “In only a few months, the multidisciplinary, collaborative design methods of the SCOPE project team at Olin have delivered the foundation for an exciting solution to our challenge. The breadth of their problem definition research and presentation savvy are unrivaled in undergraduate engineering education.”

Also among this year’s projects is an intelligent sprayer sponsored by AGCO, a leading global manufacturer of agricultural equipment. The AGCO SCOPE team is working to develop an automated system to fill agricultural sprayers, reducing operator exposure to chemicals and providing a safer working environment. A project sponsored by Brandeis University challenges Olin students to develop a new mechanism to section cellular tissue at cryogenic temperatures, enabling ultrathin sectioning of cells. Increased understanding of living cells could lead to numerous advances in medicine, biology and nanotechnology.

“Olin College’s mission is to create a different breed of engineer, who has hands-on problem solving experience along with entrepreneurial skills, and has been accountable to technical goals and budgets before graduating,” said Andrew Bennett, director of the SCOPE Program. “This was the first time we were in a position of abundance and weren’t able to fulfill all the requests for sponsorship. Best of all, each of our existing projects, by design, involve multiple engineering disciplines, including elements of engineering science, engineering design, and entrepreneurship, much like our students would face in a corporate setting.”

About Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is a private undergraduate engineering college located in Needham, Massachusetts. The College opened in 2002 and has since graduated more than 300 students. Olin College’s mission is to prepare students to become exemplary engineering innovators who recognize needs, design solutions, and engage in creative enterprises for the good of the world. To that end Olin College has brought together some of the best minds and the best ideas in engineering education to develop a hands-on, interdisciplinary program geared toward today’s technology challenges. More information can be found at http://www.olin.edu.

About SCOPE
The Senior Capstone Program in Engineering (SCOPE) is the culminating experience of each Olin student’s education. It is a year-long course, where senior students work in multi-disciplinary teams, engaging in significant real-world engineering projects for partnering corporate clients. Each team of 5-7 students, along with a faculty advisor, dedicated project space, and an Olin technical expert group works on a project of value to the sponsoring company.

Sponsor companies are industry leaders, joining Olin College as catalysts for change in engineering education. These corporate partnerships drive industry awareness that engineers of the future will be trained differently – and that Olin College of Engineering is leading the way.

Olin students have hands-on, strong design skills including rapid-prototyping and user-oriented design, training in entrepreneurship, as well as teamwork and project management skills as a result of cross-disciplinary group projects which they start the day they arrive at Olin College. In the SCOPE program, seniors are grouped together in appropriate labor workforce teams to match the needs of each sponsor company’s project. Sponsor companies find that these exceptionally bright engineering students look at problems in new ways and find unexpected solutions.

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Alyson Goodrow
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
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