Industrial Advisory Board Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) Program

Updated: March 24, 2016

ACU aspires to achieve student-centered, interdisciplinary, team-based experiential learning at levels that will serve as a model for other universities in the emerging national movement to transform undergraduate engineering education.

Vision for the Industrial Advisory Board

The Industrial Advisory Board will be an invested strategic partner of the BSE program.

Purpose

The BSE Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) serves as an advisory group for the Director of Engineering (director) and Chair of the Department of Engineering and Physics (chair).

The Industrial Advisory Board has three primary functions:

  • The IAB provides an industry voice to the director for the purpose of enhancing the fit between program objectives and the knowledge and skills sought by industry.
  • The IAB advocates for the BSE program in the department, college, and university, and within the industrial community.
  • The IAB connects with program faculty and students at a systemic level that brings benefits to the companies represented on the board and to the students and faculty of the program.

Shared Benefits of an Effective Board

Benefits to the companies represented on the board include (a) opportunities to interact with students that will ultimately help the companies achieve talent acquisition goals, (b) opportunities to shape the program so that students graduate prepared to become productive engineers, and (c) corporate project or research needs can be addressed by students and faculty of the program.

Benefits to the program include (a) advice and counsel from companies that will hire program graduates, (b) research and capstone projects rooted in current engineering work, and (c) new and/or enhanced corporate relationships.

Benefits to students in the program include (a) formative relationships with practicing engineers and corporate leaders, (b) participation in rigorous open-ended corporate-sponsored team-based senior design projects and/or research activities, and (c) corporate provided internship/employment, workshops/tech-talks, site visits and mentoring.

Membership and Rotation

The director will invite individuals to serve as founding members of the Industrial Advisory Board.  Thereafter, the board will be self-perpetuate itself by nominating individuals for invitation by the director or by including representatives of companies who sponsor capstone projects.

The standing target membership range for Advisory Board members is 14 to 18 drawn from a variety of types of companies. The purposes and shared benefits mentioned above suggest it is desirable for members to commit to four-year terms of service. Members may be asked to stay longer past their four-year cycle or may opt out sooner if needed. Ideally, four to six new members will join the board each year as a similar number of members conclude their term of service.

The founding Advisory Board members will, in consultation with the Director of Engineering, develop a board leadership and committee structure and identify strategies to achieve the primary functions.

Meetings

The full Advisory Board will meet on campus once in the spring and once in the fall.  Meetings will be scheduled well in advance and in conjunction with other program events. Typical board gatherings will consist of board members meeting with the director and chair, leaders of relevant student organizations, capstone teams, program faculty and others as needed to accomplish the purposes and shared benefits mentioned above.

The board is a strategic partner to the program, calling for additional communication between meetings through email, phone and conference calls. The director and board chairperson will communicate at least quarterly and the director may seek input from the board or board members as matters arise between meetings.