|Expertise At Work
At Old Dominions Enterprise Centers
Created to bring Old Dominion University engineering and technology expertise directly to the doors of private industry, the College of Engineering and Technologys eight Enterprise Centers collaborate closely with the private sector. The centers provide assistance in such areas as workforce development, modeling and simulation, manufacturing, experimental aerodynamics, productivity improvement, information technology, project management, testing and evaluation, and lasers and materials.
The Enterprise Centers are key ingredients in Dean William Swarts strategy to create a new, more relevant engineering-education standard. Swarts four-by-four model combines four years of traditional classroom and laboratory instruction with four years of industry-project experience. Once they leave Old Dominion, the colleges graduating engineers and technologists are able to hit the ground running, immediately contributing to a companys bottom line.
Through a systematic marketing effort, we actively seek companies with problems, Swart explains. This effort includes attending industry fairs, holding our annual Technology Solutions event on campus and taking referrals from state and local agencies such as Virginias Center for Innovative Technology and the Hampton Roads Technology Council.
According to Swart, engaging the Enterprise Centers in practical problem-solving is a win-win situation for everyone. Companies win, he says, by improved industry efficiency, effectiveness and resultant profitability. The University wins by being able to offer an engineering and technology education which leverages its own (and, by association, the Hampton Roads regions) unique advantages and resources. Upon graduation, students win by presenting employers a superior portfolio of academic and on- the-job achievement. And professors are able to combine real-world case studies and the lessons learned therefrom directly into curricula.
Swart believes the integration of education, research, development and training underscores the Universitys value to the community, particularly regarding Old Dominions role as a catalyst for economic development. The overall winner is the community, which gains additional high-tech jobs, he contends. Greater pay translates to increased quality of life, increased competitiveness in the global market, and last, but not least, a better trained workforce.
Three of the Universitys Enterprise Centers the Center for Advanced Ship Repair and Maintenance, the Technology Applications Center and Virginia Space Flight Center are featured in this issue of Quest. Brief summaries of each of the eight centers can be found on the College of Engineering and Technologys website, www.eng.odu.edu, For more information on any or all of the Enterprise Centers, call (757) 683-5505 or toll free at (877) 861-8665.