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Working engineers

July 18, 2011

Through design competitions and collaboration with industry partners, engineering students get a chance to put their classroom knowledge to use.

From first-year students to seniors, Ohio State engineering majors capped off the school year with hands-on projects that put their classroom knowledge on display. Some created roller coasters and robots, while others worked on real-world projects alongside industry collaborators.

First-year honors engineering students competed in a robot-building competition. They created autonomous robots that completed farm tasks on a small course: harvesting and storing corn and loading hay onto a conveyor belt, among other tasks.

During the Engineering Capstone Design Showcase, teams of graduating seniors worked on projects with industry partners. One group worked with a team of Honda engineers on increasing fuel efficiency for SUVs.

"This project is very important to Honda's future," says Mike Ellington, of Honda Research and Development. "This was a great experience."

Ohio State's College of Engineering uses programs like the capstone course and robot competition to get students ready for internships and jobs, says John Merrill, director of Ohio State's first-year engineering program.

"All of this involved communication, teamwork, project management, and a lot of technical skills," Merrill says. "That's as real-world as we can make it, and it serves them very well."