University Education Programs
ERC education at the university level is a total-immersion experience including direct involvement of undergraduate and graduate students in Center fundamental and system test bed research projects. An ERC gives a student the opportunity to build technical depth, research complex systems, integrate knowledge from other fields to advance technology, lead and work in teams, and hone communication, innovation, and entrepreneurial skills. The ERC’s research and education programs focus on complex engineered systems, using a cross-disciplinary team approach. Industrial partners actively collaborate with Center faculty and students and contribute to an emphasis on transformational technology that will underpin new products and processes. Industrial employers report that ERC graduates are significantly more effective in industrial practice and able to “hit the ground running” compared to their counterpart non-ERC engineering graduates. ERC graduates have the necessary skills to integrate knowledge to advance technology, lead teams, and effectively communicate complex concepts to broader audiences. At an ERC, undergraduate and graduate students participate in center strategic planning through the Student Leadership Council. In addition, students participate in or even plan and execute precollege education programs.
Continuing education of engineers in practice is an important aspect of the ERC’s partnerships with industry. Programs range from active industry participation in research projects as mentors to formal curricula via professional certificates. Another important feature of ERC education is active outreach to faculty and students from other universities, including minority-serving institutions, in ERC research and education programs.