Nearly $50,000 in prizes. Recognition for nine months of hard work. Impending graduation. That’s what Craig M. Berge Design Day will bring the class of 2024 at the end of this academic year.
“We get there from this day forward,” said David Hahn, the Craig M. Berge Dean of the college, beginning this year’s open house in the Student Union Memorial Center ballroom by addressing the project sponsors.
Steve Larimore, lead instructor for the Interdisciplinary Capstone program, then updated the sponsors on the college’s efforts to continually improve the program.
Last year, for example, the college opened the Engineering Design Center to give all engineering students, and Interdisciplinary Capstone teams in particular, a well-equipped makerspace to realize their designs. This year’s seniors will have access throughout the academic year.
In gauging the college’s progress, Larimore said, he examines the overall scores judges award to projects on a year-to-year basis.
“Last year we had the best scores we’ve ever had,” he said.
Just after the sponsors’ meeting, hundreds of students filled the ballroom to learn about the projects on offer and place requests for their desired spots, leading to matching with a project and team.
“I’m definitely excited and a little nervous, too,” said mechanical engineering major Landry Guerin. “I’m starting to formulate ideas on how to tackle these projects.”