No shortage of experiential learning opportunities

The problems local industry brings to the CIVS also means opportunities for Purdue Calumet students, whose curricula demands real world, experiential learning as a graduation requirement. Zhou indicated that more than 20 students conducted about 90 percent of the work performed at the CIVS last semester.

Wu, currently enrolled in a Purdue Ph.D. program, is so pleased with the opportunities he has received there that he has turned down job offers at local companies to work as a research engineer at Purdue Calumet, where he earned a master’s degree in engineering last December.

“What we do is what they are doing in industry every day,” he said.

Purdue Calumet mechanical engineering student Tom Roesel of Crete, Ill., said being able to work directly with industry partners in the CIVS validated the textbook theories he is learning.

“It helped me see the practical applications of what I’m learning,” he said. “It helps to cement some of the ideas that are taught in class.”

American Society of Mechanical Engineering Chicago Section Chair Bill Bobco, who organized a section meeting at the CIVS last year, said, “I can understand why students are so excited about these projects. They have practical applications and present the information in a manner that almost anyone can understand.”