Cooperative Engineering Center
A senior-industrial design relationship called the Cooperative Engineering Center (CEC) has been developed by the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Virginia Military Institute. The primary purpose of the CEC is to serve as a challenging capstone design course and to provide senior students with an excursion into the exciting, real world of engineering. Consulting design teams of three students, one designated as team leader, are formed to investigate and propose a solution to an engineering design problem submitted by a local industrial client. These design teams interact directly with the industrial clients' representative. After arriving at a solution for the design project and writing a formal report, the team makes an oral presentation before a departmental faculty review panel. After a faculty design advisor accepts the written report, the team visits the client and orally presents the project solution and submits a copy of the written report to the client representative. The client representative completes a grade and comment form and returns it to the CEC Director for 50% of the team's final grade.
The CEC has a faculty member, appointed as the Director, who solicits engineering projects, teaches pertinent design topics, and meets weekly with all engineering design teams, along with an assigned faculty design team advisor. The Director also maintains a pool of talented faculty members who can develop and present short courses and seminars, and conduct research through the research laboratories at the school. The resources are available to the industrial clients involved in the CEC.