Design Course Projects
BE Design Course Sequence
CEDC projects form the heart of Dartmouth's capstone BE design course sequence, "ENGS 89/90: Engineering Design Methodology & Project Initiation/Completion." Each project runs from mid September to early March with students working in teams of three to eight depending on the scope of the project.
MEng Design Course Sequence
Students in Dartmouth's MEng degree program may elect to complete an industry-sponsored project through the advanced course sequence, "ENGG 199.10/199.11: MEng Design Project Initiation/Completion." Projects are matched to student teams in October/November with work beginning in early January and completing at the end of May.
ENGS 89/90 Sponsors: Who & Why?
A CEDC sponsor is any established business or organization that brings an engineering problem to our students. Sponsors come from all industries and sectors and vary in size and type.
Students in ENGS 89/90 bring technical, analytical, and project management skills to develop efficient, inventive solutions to practical problems. They devote between 900 and 1,800 hours to their projects and draw on the expertise of CEDC staff, faculty advisors, and the technical staff of Dartmouth’s CAD facility, MShop, and instrument room. Project work includes professional review cycles, with teams presenting progress reports to panels of practicing engineers and experts.
What are the benefits?
For a minimal investment, deliverables include a written report containing relevant background research, analysis of the problem and proposed solution, and recommendations for next steps. Other deliverables may include:
- Design analyses, reports, and feasibility studies
- Product prototypes
- Engineering plans, drawings, and CAD models
- Computer programs, manuals, and data
- Manufacturing process plans
- Demonstrations, videos, and presentations
- Business plans and financial analyses
Points of contact
Sponsors interact regularly with students throughout the project in at least two ways:
- The business lead provides company and contextual information, as well as user needs and specifications.
- The technology lead provides problem-specific technical guidance.
These two points of contact may or may not be the same person.
History of the Cook Engineering Design Center
Legacy & Origin
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).
Impact & Innovation
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 processes by which corporate partners were recruited.