While it is coursework that ultimately defines an engineering degree, there are number of opportunities to gain experience by putting the theory learned into practice, such as projects, clubs, competitions, work and research experiences. Many of these different forms of experiential learning in engineering, which are both fun and rewarding, are highlighted below.
For information on university-wide opportunities, visit Career Connected Work & Experiential Learning.
The Assistive Technology Program provides engineering students with interesting and challenging problems from our community partners and allows students to solve them through the development of appropriate technologies.
Nearly every major or discipline has an associated club or society which meets on a regular basis for professional development or social affairs. A number of teams that compete annually include:
- eNABLE Lowell: UMass Lowell students join together across majors to design, build and donate prosthetic devices to children. You can nearly always find a team member working in our Lin Makerspace.
- River Hawk Racing: The student SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) team builds and races a Formula One style car each year.
This campus-wide program engages students in creative problem solving, innovation and entrepreneurship. Seminars and workshops are held throughout the year, culminating in the Idea Challenge, which gives out $50,000 for category winners to further their ideas into products and even companies. Previous winners include prosthetic developers Nonspec and eNable Lowell.
Have a product idea? Build a prototype and compete for prize money to further develop your product. Over 25 teams are competing in this year’s event which will shell-out $7000 in prize money. Previous winners include companies such as Invisawear and TopaCan.
Every engineering student is required to complete a culminating senior design project. In this version, engineering and business students form teams to chase an entrepreneurial idea. In addition to the design and prototyping, the team works on a business and marketing plan.
In this senior design course industry partners provide a problem which a team of students solve over the course of their senior year. In addition to putting their studies to practice, the students develop communication skills and learn about the workings of industry. Sponsors have included Analog Devices, BAE Systems, New Balance, Raytheon, and UTC Aerospace Systems, among other companies.
By living and participating in an LLC, students are provided with meaningful opportunities to link academic and co-curricular components of their college experience. The College sponsors the Developing Leaders in Engineering (DLE) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) LLCs, but there are a number of options available for all interests.
Students in any major may apply to the professional co-op program which prepares students for six-month or summer work experiences in a variety of companies.
Undergraduates interested in pursuing research are encouraged to consult faculty, often affiliated with centers, laboratories or institutes, for potential opportunities.
SLICE (Service Learning in the College of Engineering) engages our students and faculty with the community.
This program prepares science and engineering undergraduate students to become licensed middle school or high school teachers. The goal is to attract a wide range of bright science and engineering undergraduate students to the STEM teaching minor to give them the experience and mentoring needed to become confident, effective, and engaging educators. Students spend time teaching in the classroom from the very first class.