Engagement means that we focus our engineering and applied sciences education on a hands-on environment. Our students do what they learn. We have extensive laboratory experiences and opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research. We have many design-build competitions where our students design and build physical objects and compete with the design of those physical objects around the United States. These design-build competitions include the SAE Formula One race car, the solar powered Sunseeker vehicle, the AIAA aircraft, the ASCE steel bridge and concrete canoe, the AICHE chemical car, and the IIE technical paper competition to name but a few.
An important part of engagement is our intern, concurrent co-op and alternating co-op programs. An internship is a one semester work opportunity for pay in industry, government, or the service sector. Our interns are placed not only in Michigan, but also World-wide. In the last year we have had interns in Japan and Finland. Concurrent co-oping is working part time in local industry while going to school part time. There are many companies within an hour's drive of Kalamazoo that hire our students on concurrent co-ops starting after the students' freshman year. Alternating co-oping is where you work every other semester for a company, going to school full time for a semester and then working full time for a semester. Alternating semester co-ops typically start after their sophomore year. We have placed alternating semester co-ops all around the State of Michigan as well as across the United States.