Industry Interactions

At the October, 2003 meeting of the Alliance, a panel was held to discuss industry intereaction. The panel, chaired by Jack Linehan of the Whitaker Foundation, featured the following panel members:

John Abele, Boston Scientific
Dawn Applegate, Applegate & Associates
Art Coury, Genzyme Corporation
Josh Makower, Transvascular

Mr. Coury and Dr. Makower provided slide presentations which are included here:

Ways in which Industry and BME programs interact

  • Course Mentors
  • Course Tutors
  • Individual Project advisors
  • Funding sources for projects or program
  • Speakers/Lecturers
  • Keynote speakers
  • Networking agents
  • Sources of internships
  • Judges for contests or project evaluation
  • Sponsors for various aspects of the program
  • Collaborators


Identified at 2005 Meeting

  • Developing effective industry partnerships
  • Difficulty getting technical advisors (and often funding) for projects sponsored by clinicians or other non-engineers
  • Establishing external collaborations appropriate for students
  • Sponsors for events, projects
  • Resolution of IP concerns from industrial sponsor providing real projects for our Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) Program
  • Developing and sustaining goof corporate partnerships
  • Identifying/recruiting external mentors for projects
  • Experienced design mentors
  • Support from industry


Identified at 2005 Meeting

  • Bootstrapping, with larger student numbers
  • Leverage industrial involvement internships
  • IP: Bigger issue for faculty than industry, for faculty that rely on design projects
  • Potential Sources for Industry/Other partnerships
    • Local Med School/Teaching Hospital – this is especially true at universities with large Medical Schools (e.g., approximately 50% of design projects at UM are sponsored by Medical or Dental School labs).
    • Local Vet School – several universities have large Vet Schools. Just like a hospital, this is a great source of recurring projects (A&M taps this resource regularly).
    • National Labs – many universities have national labs either on or close to campus. NASA has sponsored design projects both at A&M and UM.
    • VA & Rehab Centers – there are many rehab centers around the country linked with the VA system.
    • Charity organizations (Easter Seals, Lighthouse …) – they cannot provide specific projects, but they can help broker projects with local organizations in need.
    • World Health Organization, Gates Foundation, Engineers without Borders, Engineer World Health… – leverage resources of organizations promoting world health and improved health care in the 3 rd world
    • Angels – angels come in all ranks, from cashed-out executive officers of large corporations to recent graduates working in a start-up. Keeping in touch with graduates is a great way to keep them current with the department (e.g., UCI) and maximize the opportunities for design projects with their companies. Finally, a potentially great source of angels is the local chapter of the Society of Retired Engineers.