History of the Cook Engineering Design Center

The Cook Engineering Design Center was established in 1978 to create a bridge between industry and Thayer School. Several companies signed on to provide financial support and bring in projects for graduate engineering students, who would work in close collaboration with industry representatives. 

Former overseer John Brown Cook '29 was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the concept of the Center. After Cook's death in 1979, his widow, Marian Miner Cook, succeeded him as Overseer and made a generous financial gift to support the design center. The Center, originally called INVENTE, was renamed the Cook Engineering Design Center (CEDC).

During its first five years (1979-1984), more companies joined with an increase in industry-funded research. The Cook Center Associates Program was established in 1983 as a mechanism to generate and maintain a continuing relationship between interested companies and Thayer School.

During Dean Elsa Garmire's tenure, the CEDC became a virtual center with a formalized fee structure for projects and process by which corporate partners were recruited.