We’re not going to kid you. The coursework here is, in a word, rigorous. But
then, we know you like a challenge. You’ll probably see more of the lab than
your own dorm room. You’ll study far more than you play. Or maybe not. Play is
a subjective term. Play for you is building robots, or solar arrays, or airplanes,
or concrete canoes, or clean water filtration systems, or steel bridges, or all-
terrain vehicles ... .
You’ll use your eraser and delete key in frustration more often than you’ll
care to count. But nothing here is more difficult than what you’ll face upon
graduation ... and as a result, you’ll leave here more than prepared.
And you’re not alone.
Since so much of our work is done in teams, you’ll always be able to find
support when you need it. You won’t work alone late at night. Instead, you’ll be
eating pizza in the atrium with fellow students, and making calculations on the
pizza box, trying to solve a problem related to reducing drag on a commercial
truck, or an all-terrain wheelchair, or an alternative fuel system for example.
These are actual projects, by the way.
a Few Examples ...
Two teams of undergraduate engineering and science students obtained
$75,000 each in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
continue their research on the sustainability of both small-scale farms and
farms located in cold weather climates. They also were both recipients of the
EPA’s highly coveted P3 awards for environmental innovation.
Another student group has been re-engineering a snowmobile to make it
more environmentally friendly and less noisy. They’ve been so successful that
they were invited to bring their design to the National Science Foundation’s
Summit Station in Greenland, where NSF researchers working on atmospheric
studies are in need of zero-emissions transportation methods like the team’s
snowmobile. They have also won first place the last two years in the national
SAE Clean Snowmobile Competition.
Project-based learning is such an integral part of the Coulter School of
Engineering that all senior students must complete a design project. They
might devise a way to recover the waste heat from maple sugaring operations,
improve the efficiency of vehicles by waste heat recovery, design an engine
that runs on air, create a way to store energy more efficiently, or construct a
methane digester that converts dairy waste into energy.
What human problem will you attempt to solve?
Every year, Clarkson students get involved in Student Projects for
Engineering Experience and Design (SPEED) in which they compete against
student teams from other universities to design, fabricate, test — and possibly
market — inventions such as solar-powered airplanes, ATVs and a method for
removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions, among others. And it’s
not just engineering students who are involved.
The Coulter School of Engineering is a
flagship of Clarkson University, and one of
the most unique engineering schools in the
country. Our program prepares students for
tomorrow’s challenges in two distinctive ways.
First, our curriculum gives students
many opportunities to participate in team-
based and interdisciplinary programs.
Chemical engineers work with business
students. Mechanical engineers work with
computer scientists. And electrical engineers
interface with mathematicians or biologists
or physical therapists. Since engineers don’t
work in isolation, we don’t believe they should
learn in isolation either.
Second, our programs emphasize the
development of technology that serves
humanity. We don’t pursue engineering
for the sake of engineering. Instead, we
encourage students to consider the social
consequences of projects by looking at
the economics, ethics and environmental
impact of every engineering decision.
We want to make sure the work we do is
positive from all perspectives.
Hardly. Engineers are trained to
contribute, not harm, and we take that
With a 13:1 student-teacher ratio
and just 3,000 undergraduate students,
learning across traditional boundaries
happens naturally at Clarkson.
SPEED International Exchange.
Kyushu University in
Japan sent a group of students to Clarkson in 2012 to observe
and participate in FIRST Robotics activities. Kyushu then provided
partial scholarships for Clarkson FIRST Robotics students to travel
to Japan and compete in a Micro-Mechanisms Contest against
other international universities.