Pfizer Global Research and Development in Holland, Mich., and the engineering program at Hope College, also in Holland, have entered into a "strategic alliance" that will give the college's students a chance to apply their lessons to helping a local company with a real- life design problem.
For the remainder of the 2002 calendar year, engineering students at Hope will work with Pfizer to help design a device for dispensing chemicals during mixing.
Pfizer has pledged financial support to pursue the project, which started this semester with students enrolled in the college's senior-level engineering design course. During the spring semester, the students have been working with Pfizer to define the specific design problem and to search for and consider solutions. This summer, students and a faculty mentor will continue the effort as a collaborative research project, developing a prototype based on the spring semester's work. The plan is to complete the project in the fall.
"Through this partnership our students have the opportunity to experience a 'real-world' design problem from start to finish, while working alongside Pfizer's engineers and Hope engineering faculty," said Dr. Roger Veldman, who is an assistant professor of engineering and teaching the engineering design course. "It's really been a great experience so far, and I expect that will continue."
Originally a concentration within physics, engineering grew into a major at Hope in 1997. The college's Bachelor of Science degree with a major in engineering received accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 2001.