Where can I access information about the Design Track?
We regularly are updating this webpage to include all up-to-date information. A number of other questions can be answered by viewing the Design Track Curriculum.
All curriculum related questions can likely be answered by reviewing the Design Track Curriculum. A list of all tentatively planned elective course offering can be found here. Additional related optional courses may be approved on a petition basis. You can also consider enrolling in the Design Pathways option, available in all ME Tracks. The Design Pathway allows you to complete the three course (APD, Grad Design I & II) sequence as enrichment/elective credits in the other ME Tracks.
The Advanced Product Design (APD) course will be offered each Fall Semester. Admission to the Advanced Product Design class will include review of a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should communicate to the faculty why you are interested in product design, describe past design experiences, if you intend to complete the design track, what you hope to get out of this class and convey why you, over the other applicants for the course, deserve to be selected. Your resume (two-page maximum) should include descriptions of your past design experiences, GPA, previous coursework, etc. Materials should be submitted electronically by April 1st to Professor Rieker (email@example.com), for review by the design faculty. April 1st is a hard deadline, applications received after April 1st will not be considered. Admission decisions will be returned to you by April 18th. At that time you will be given access to register for the class.
In this course you will be paired with several other students (teams of ~3 students depending on product scope) to design a new product or improve an existing consumer product. You will be required to apply the knowledge learned in each of the topics areas as it applies to your product throughout the course.
The Graduate Design projects course sequence begins in the Fall Semester. This is a two-semester course that includes both the Fall and Spring Semesters. Advanced Product Design is a pre-requisite for this course. The Grad Design projects course will focus on industry sponsored projects. Each team will likely include 3-4 students per team depending upon the scope of the project. There may be opportunities to secure employment with companies that sponsor projects. There will also be a series of lectures in this class covering such topics as project management, risk management, testing, compliance, etc.
We will not know the projects for the upcoming Grad Design course sequence until the beginning of the summer. Current Grad Design projects (2011/2012) are sponsored by Covidien, Caridian BCT, Medtronic, Agilent, and Sandia National Lab. In the near future, we will post more information about past projects to provide a feel for the types of projects offered.
Space is provided for students in Grad Design course for fabrication, assembly, and testing in the Idea Forge. Each design team has a design studio to work in for the duration of the project. Check out more details in the Facilities section.
Very little research in “design” is funded by any government agency and thus, very few faculty have research programs built around “product design.” However, a number of faculty have MS level research projects that include elements of “design”. Please contact faculty pursuing research that is of interest to you, if you choose the Thesis Research option. You would not need to make this determination until after the first spring semester when you’ve completed Advanced Product Design.
This may exist if you choose to pursue the Research Thesis option. However, to pursue these opportunities you will need to find a Research Thesis Advisor and go through the normal application process.
This Design Track is one of a number of Graduate MS Tracks offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Design Track is a focused area of study and not specifically a degree. After successful completion of the Track, you will receive an MS in Mechanical Engineering. The undergraduate degree program in ME is accredited by ABET. ABET does not accredit graduate engineering programs. Thus, this new track is not accredited, just like any other graduate program.
Yes, you may be able to obtain an industry sponsored project. However, you need to contact Professor Rentschler as soon as possible in order to make this happen. There are contracts that must be established with the sponsoring company, etc. You may bring in an entrepreneurship project but would need to obtain funding and other student personnel to work with you. You will need to contact Professor Rentschler as soon as possible so that he can advise you on how to make this happen.
Yes, admission to the Advanced Product Design class will include review of a resume and cover letter. However, if you are CU BS/MS student, you will not be able to complete Grad Design until completing Senior Design, not simultaneously. The cover letter should communicate to the faculty why you are interested in consumer product design, describe past design experiences, if you intend to complete the design track, what you hope to get out of this class and convey why you, over the other applicants for the course, deserve to be selected. Your resume (two-page maximum) should include descriptions of your past design experiences, GPA, previous coursework, etc. Materials should be submitted electronically to Professor Rieker (Greg.Rieker@Colorado.edu), for review by the design faculty, by April 1st. Admission decisions will be returned to you by April 15th. At that time you will be given access to register for the class.
No. The focus of this Graduate Design Program is on design engineering. Specifically, this program focuses (from an engineering perspective) on understanding the user and the user environment, idea generation, concept evaluation, and integrating these areas into engineering design of products.
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