UD Innovation Center provides engineering solutions for local startups

June 7, 2019

In need of a prototype? The University of Dayton Innovation Center has your back. Read below for more info in the guest post from Emily Cory, director of the university’s Leonardo Enterprises.

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One of the biggest challenges for many entrepreneurs is designing and prototyping new products. It can be difficult to find a trusted partner who can deliver quality engineering services on a startup budget. 

Since 1996, the Innovation Center at the University of Dayton School of Engineering has provided design, prototyping, testing and research on nearly 1,500 industry client projects through the Design and Innovation Clinic.  In the Clinic, multidisciplinary teams of 3 to 5 seniors from across mechanical, aerospace, industrial, electrical, computer engineering and engineering technologies are mentored by faculty to meet their client’s needs. This can include designing, prototyping and testing new products, improving existing product lines, solving manufacturing challenges, and more. 

The Clinic provides critical experiential learning to these students, who are on the cusp of entering the workforce, by allowing them to define and meet technical deliverables on a real timeline for a real client, practice professional communication and exercise their engineering expertise.  Clinic clients receive high value engineering solutions to advance their business at a relatively low risk and low cost compared to more traditional routes.

While many of the more than 250 clients in the Innovation Center are large industrial, medical and manufacturing companies, a significant number are also startups looking to leverage the tremendous value of working with student teams.  In fact, the Innovation Center has recently partnered with The Entrepreneurs Center (TEC) to provide Design and Innovation Clinic services to clients participating in TEC’s Entrepreneurial Services Provider Program.

Design and Innovation Clinic Project Details:

What you get –

  • A team of 3-5 senior engineering students work on your project with a faculty advisor. 
  • Oral presentations, weekly status reports, and a confidential final report documenting all results, along with any physical prototypes created. 
  • Ownership of all the intellectual property created by the students.

What you provide –

  • Your time. The best projects have active and involved clients who meet regularly with their student team.
  • $2,000-$5,000 to cover materials, travel, lab use and administrative expenses for your team.

Design and Innovation Clinic projects run on a semester basis, and the deadline for Fall 2019 project submissions is August 1.  For more information or to sponsor a project in the Innovation Center, please contact: Rebecca Blust, Professor and Director, at 937-229-2851 or [email protected].