Design Center Colorado (DCC) is an industry-education partnership within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. DC Colorado is a new concept in engineering education, fostering innovative, technical collaborations with business, industry, and government agencies. The Center brings real industry projects to undergraduate and graduate students in mechanical engineering, where integrated teams of students, a faculty advisor, and an industry mentor develop workable solutions to sponsor-presented problems. Student teams work on assigned projects for two consecutive semesters and deliver tested, functional hardware and documentation to the industry sponsor at the completion of the project.
DC Colorado also supports the Durning Laboratory and Fleming Active Learning Laboratory in the ME Department, where students design and build hardware for their projects. DC Colorado provides infrastructure for many hands-on design classes, including Computer-Aided Design and Fabrication, Component Design, Senior Design, Graduate Design, and more. Visit the DCC website here.
Industry sponsors pay a fee of $16k for undergraduate and $20K for graduate projects.
Portions of the budget go to student project budgets, and to help support the Durning Laboratory and Fleming Active Learning Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where students design and build hardware for their projects.
Sponsors are asked to provide an Industry Mentor who can commit 10 hours per semester to support the student team. These hours are typically dedicated to weekly meetings with the students.
Sponsors benefit from students’ fresh ideas, gain an edge in recruiting top students to their company, and obtain a working piece of hardware at the end of the project. A company’s investment also can result in a competitive advantage, with the company retaining exclusive rights to the intellectual property developed.
Each student team will commit more than 1,500 hours to the project.
Students gain valuable experience working with professional engineers.
Students may work in the Durning Laboratory, the Fleming Active Learning Laboratory, or the college’s state-of-the-art Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. If desired, students may also work at the sponsor's work site.
Students work within time and materials budgets, while gaining experience with industry procedures such as writing purchase orders and meeting deadlines under pressure.
Each year, student teams submit approximately four written reports and as many oral presentations on product development and testing.
The engineering Faculty Advisor will devote over 40 hours to supervising the sponsored student team throughout the academic year.
The Faculty Advisor assists student teams in understanding and executing the design process.
The Faculty Advisor serves as at the primary point of contact for academic topics. (schedule, deliverables, grading, etc.)
The Faculty Advisor ensures that student teams meet the academic course goals and company's project goals.