Manufacturers, Universities Partner on Business Challenges
Manufacturers across Connecticut are continuously looking to improve their processes and workflows, and equipment.
But, they often don’t have the time, or workforce to tackle every problem.
“90% of manufacturers in Connecticut have fewer than 50 employees,” says CONNSTEP senior advisor Jack Crane.
“They often don’t have the labor force to do systematic planning for the future.”
That’s where Capstone Projects plays an important role.
Every year, dozens of manufacturing companies present engineering schools at Connecticut universities with design challenges or problems they are encountering in their business.
Tackling a Problem
Depending on the company and the university, the projects involve students studying a wide range of disciplines including mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, to computer science and cybersecurity.
Here’s how it works.
After companies connect with a university, they create a charter to define the problem and identify measurable goals.
The university Capstone coordinator then identifies a suitable team to carry out the project.
The student teams spend a semester or two working on the problem, often with a graduate student and a faculty advisor.
The student teams meet with the company, collect data, identify a solution, and implement it.
Throughout the project, the company gives the students feedback about what worked and what didn’t.
The projects give important exposure to both the students and the companies.
The students learn about Connecticut manufacturers and get a chance to apply what they’ve learned outside the classroom environment.
The companies get exposure to modern engineering and technologies, and to the future workforce.
In many cases, students receive internships or even permanent employment from the companies they work with through the project.
“It’s a win-win for the companies and the students,” said Crane.
“The companies receive a solution to something they don’t have the resources to address, and the students get an opportunity to gain hands-on experience working to find answers to real-world problems.”
CONNSTEP, Connecticut’s leading business consulting firm, is prepared to offer pro bono service to link manufacturers with university Capstone coordinators and to help coach the teams as the work progresses.
The organization is working to identify companies that want to participate by July 15 to ensure that projects are ready to begin and teams can be assigned for the fall semester.
For more information, contact CONNSTEP’s Jack Crane (203.891.6291).
EXPLORE BY CATEGORY
Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests
The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.