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The Design Center Colorado is an industry partnership program to solve engineering problems facing businesses with student research and development.

We bring real industry projects to teams of undergraduate and graduate mechanical engineering students, who work under a faculty advisor and an industry mentor to create solutions to sponsor-presented problems.

Your participation will give students direct experience designing and delivering tested, functional products or prototypes. What’s in it for the sponsor? Businesses often use the projects to explore ideas and solutions to problems they don’t have time to work on in-house. Projects often lead to patent applications, and all IP is property of the sponsor.

Student teams work on assigned projects for two semesters and deliver tested, functional hardware and documentation to the sponsor. The end products usually fall into one of the following categories.

  • Design prototype
  • Tradeshow system
  • Laboratory ready

Sponsors range from multinational firms to startups located here in Boulder.

"Micro Motion feels that the senior design projects that we have done over the past several years have been quite successful. The first two projects involved the design of flow test stands that are now part of Micro Motion's standard testing facilities. The students provided significant engineering effort in the design of these stands, allowing Micro Motion to implement the test facilities with less impact on our people's time."

Students at both the undergraduate and graduate level complete projects, and you will be involved throughout the process through regular meetings and updates to shape the end product.

Sponsor a Project

  • Industry sponsors pay a fee of $16K for undergraduate and $25K for graduate projects.
    • Portions of the funding go to the student project budget, and to support the Durning Laboratory and Fleming Active Learning Laboratory where students design and build hardware for the projects.
  • Provide an industry mentor who can commit 10 hours per semester to support the student team. These hours are typically in the form of weekly meetings with the students.
  • Benefit from students’ fresh ideas and obtain a working piece of hardware at the end of the project.
  • Gain an edge in recruiting top students to their company.
  • Retain exclusive rights to any intellectual property developed for the project.

  • Devote over 40 hours to supervising the sponsored student team throughout the academic year.
  • Assist student teams in understanding and executing the design process.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for academic topics, including the schedule, deliverables, and grading.
  • Ensures the student teams meet academic course goals and the company's project goals.

  • Commit more than 1,500 hours to the project.
  • Gain valuable experience working with professional engineers.
  • Work in the Durning Laboratory, the Fleming Active Learning Laboratory, or the state-of-the-art Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. If desired, students may also work at the sponsor's work site.
  • Manage time and materials budgets.
  • Submit approximately four written reports and oral presentations on product development and testing.