Innovation Center School of Engineering Project Lab
Innovation Center

Our students and faculty have solved over 875 client challenges!

More than 175 external clients have supplied real-world challenges for our engineering students at the Innovation Center — a transformative space!

Project-based learning at the Innovation Center
  • Focus on your customer's needs to move real-world projects closer to the marketplace
  • Work with the School of Law when IP issues develop
  • Partner with the School of Business for market/business feasibility studies
  • Become the complete professional with the best topic of conversation at any job interview! 

Since 1996, student teams have solved over 875 industry challenges and have met or exceeded our client expectations over 85 percent of the time!

Click a link below for an Innovation Center online form.

Project Description Form
Project Agreement Form
Project Agreement-Royalty Form

School of Engineering Innovation Center: Best in Class!

The University of Dayton's Innovation Center received the 2013 KEEN Best in Class Award. The award recognizes the excellent work by the faculty and staff of the School of Engineering's Innovation Center as well as the departments in the School that support the Center's efforts. Go to UD News article >>

Innovation Center Capstone Design Symposium

The end-of-term Symposium is held at the University of Dayton School of Engineering and provides a common venue for final presentations of projects supported by the Innovation Center.

Innovation Center Classroom

A nationally recognized initiative.

In 1996, thanks largely to a grant from Emerson Climate Technologies, the Design and Manufacturing Clinic was formed, which evolved into today's Innovation Center, a nationally recognized initiative. 

Mission statement

Educate and develop world-class leaders who create new products while working effectively at disciplinary intersections in the Catholic, Marianist tradition that meet the needs of the business community in a culture of engineering innovation and entrepreneurship

Project portfolio
  • Ideas submitted by students and faculty that meet the University's catholic, Marianist tradition
  • Collaborations with student organizations supporting community issues (e.g., Children's Hospital)
  • Collaborations with international programs (e.g., ETHOS)
  • Products for entrepreneurs and industry
  • Designs for test fixtures, electrical and computer systems, and manufacturing work cells
  • Improvements for manufacturing processes
  • Ergonomic studies (NIOSH) of existing, modified or new processes and designs
Innovation Center Project Innovation Lab

Project Management and Leadership Skills.

The product realization process

During your first year, you'll learn about the product realization process for a skill-base that will benefit you throughout your educational experience.  

  • Entrepreneurial thinking
  • Business acumen
  • Customer awareness
Capstone design course

During your senior year "capstone design course," you'll apply your cumulative knowledge to solve a real-world issue for a client.

  • Develop designs and prototypes
  • Answer today's complex questions 
The first-year experience

EGR 103, Introduction to Innovation and Design — emphasizes social responsibility, environmental issues and product-realization.

Upper-level design

EGR 433 — part of design sequence that emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn about project management, time value of money, cost estimating, business plans and intellectual property. School of Law faculty and practicing patent attorneys share information on intellectual property, litigation and the development of provisional and full patents.

MEE 431L/ECE 431L, Multidisciplinary Design Lab — required for electrical, computer and mechanical engineering majors. One-credit hour that emphasizes conceptual design and requires extensive research, brainstorming, ideation, decision analysis, and a final embodiment design. By developing conceptual design, student teams are better prepared for MEE 432L/ECE 432L, which involves design, build, test and a business plan.

MEE/ECE 432 — three-credit hours that is the focal point of the Innovation Center.

IET 323, Project Management — required for all disciplines within Engineering Technology. Defines critical characteristics of effective project management: meeting effectiveness, project proposal development, project planning, work breakdown structure, decision-making techniques, styles of management, communications, teaming skills, strategies and valuable oral and written presentation skills.

ET 490, Capstone Design Project — involves all engineering technology programs as well as departments outside of the School of Engineering, including management, marketing and entrepreneurship.

ECE/EGR/MEE 499, Innovative Design and Entrepreneurship — interdisciplinary teams design and develop a component or a system such as an educational tool or a new toy, a medical device, or an assistive device for physically challenged individuals. One objective is to design a device that can be built using rapid prototyping. An objective is for teams from this class to enter the University of Dayton Business Plan Competition.

Innovation Center Design Clinic

Students create unique designs to solve our client's unique concerns.

GE Aviation, Tom Flege, Engineer

"The student team . . . worked well with the GE Team to come up with a very functional design."

Hobart Corporation, Brian Brunswick, Product Development Manager

". . . provides an outside perspective for both current design opportunities and new technology. Student projects at the University of Dayton have been implemented into the warewash product line, and designs have been patented with both Hobart engineering and student contributions."

Cornerstone Research Group, Patrick Hood, President 

"Our way of thinking moves from technology to business. The business elements that convert ideas and technology into something real are creation, production and distribution."

Silver Solutions, Ben Burke, Owner 

"We asked the team to research the possibility, then develop a method. The team discovered both the possibility and method. This project made our company a serious contender in the metal recycling and recovery market."

Design Engineering Division of ASME

"The University of Dayton has one of the best design programs that implements a broad range of business and industry sponsored projects."

Global Gauge Corporation, Tim McCormick, President

"We hire engineers who understand the business aspect for solving customer problems. It's a balance that relates to non-engineering courses including economics, accounting, and finance. I have eight engineers in my company, and they understand the business aspect and cost estimating."

Brendan O'Grady, University of Dayton Alumnus

"The team was great . . . very prepared to do the necessary engineering. They communicated and presented their findings well. Their results will help me to develop a product with significant impact."

Dr. Margaret Pinnell, Professor, University of Dayton, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

"Students developed a highly creative and innovative design and met a significant number of unusual design constraints that included concerns for horse, rider/patient and handlers."

Innovation Center Design Studio

Sponsor surveys validate our success.

The significance of student results and the success of attained goals is clear. Below are results of five years of sponsor surveys for Engineering Technology ET 490, MEE/ECE 431L and MEE/ECE 432L. Our results are significant in more than 76 percent of the projects. In more than 85 percent of our projects, our client's goals have been attained or exceeded. 


  • Significant = 76%
  • Moderate = 23%
  • Low = 1%


  • Exceeded = 24%
  • Attained = 61.5%
  • Nearly Met = 13%
  • Failed = 1.5%

The Innovation Center's projects continue to significantly increase, which can be attributed to expanded enrollment in most of our disciplines.

Use sensors, transducers and recording equipment to get the job done!

Located in Kettering Labs, our complex includes the Emerson Climate Technologies Product Innovation Lab — a flexible project lab where models and prototypes are built. Our design studio is equipped with computer stations, so you can download required software. Client breakout sessions are held in our team meeting rooms. And, our large conference room, for formal presentations, has distance communication capabilities.

Innovation Center

Our Advisory Board structures courses, programs and relationships.

Rob Comparin (Chair)

Director, A/C Advanced Tech
Emerson Climate Technologies

Ed Anton

Staff Manufacturing Integrator
Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.  

Kenneth Bloemer, Ph.D.

Director, Innovation Center
University of Dayton

Rebecca Blust

Associate Professor, Engineering Technology
Coordinator, Innovation Center

Mike Bouchard

Structural Integrity Division
University of Dayton Research Institute

Brian Brunswick

Manager, Product Development, Warewash Engineering
Hobart Corporation

Emma Castator

Dayton Power and Light

Sean Conlon

Senior Design Engineer
Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.

Alok Das

Lead AFRL Rapid Reaction Team

Malcolm W. Daniels, Ph.D.

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Dayton

Philip Doepker, P.E.

Professor Emeritus
Innovation Center
University of Dayton

Daryl Greywitt

Vice President

Jon-Russell (JR) Groenwegen

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Ray Hagerman

Dayton Development Coalition

Kelly Henrici, Ph.D.

Law Department
University of Dayton

Jim Hill

Business Incubation Manager
The Entrepreneurs Center

Melissa Hohler

Outside Design Manager/Project Engineer
Henny Penny Corporation

Patrick Hood, Ph.D.

Cornerstone Research Group

Gary Keefer

Operations Manager
Production Machinery Group

Mark Kohls

Motorcycle Division, Senior Engineer, Design
Honda R&D Americas

Gregory S. Kramer
Manager, Product Development Programs
Product Development Group
Jason Kremer

Crown Equipment Corporation

Frank Landwehr

Vice President, Marketing, A/C Division
Emerson Climate Technologies

Daniel Lechleiter

Patent Attorney
Baker & Daniels LLP

Harold Linville

Chairman of the Board
Chief Business Development Officer

David Long, Colonel, USAF

Chief, Sensors Plans and Advanced Programs
Sensors Directorate
Air Force Research Laboratory
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Steve Madara

Vice President and General Manager
Liebert Precision Cooling
Emerson Network Power

Tim McCormick, P.E.

Global Gauge Corporation

Steven McMichael

Associate Technical Fellow
The Boeing Company

Jeff Metzcar

Thompson Hine LLP

Gene Porter

Norwood Medical

Dean Ruwe, Ph.D.

Executive in Residence, Innovation Center
University of Dayton

Tony Saliba, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Engineering
University of Dayton

Philip R. Snell

CBDO Grab Technologies, LLC

Karen Sabo

Senior Staff Engineer
Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
East Liberty Auto Plant

Diane Sullivan, Ph.D.

Management and Marketing
University of Dayton

Brian Thompson

Market Creation Product Director
Worldwide Franchise Development
Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.

Larrell Walters


Mathew Willenbrink

Director of Technology Partnerships
University of Dayton Research Institute

Gail Williams

HR Manager
Emerson Climate Technologies

We're eager to meet your challenge. Contact Us for more information.

University of Dayton's Chapel of the Immaculate ConceptionUniversity of Dayton
School of Engineering
Innovation Center
Kettering Laboratories Room 140
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-0238

Phone: 937-229-2502

Image for Ken Bloemer

Bloemer, Ken 

Director, Innovation CenterStaffSchool of Engineering: Office of the Dean
Image for Rebecca Blust

Blust, Rebecca 

Associate Professor; Coordinator, Innovation CenterFull-Time FacultySchool of Engineering: Department of Engineering Technology, Innovation Center
Image for Libby Lopresti

Lopresti , Libby 

Administrative Assistant, Innovation CenterStaffSchool of Engineering: Office of the Dean
Image for Ralph Barrera

Barrera, Ralph 

AdjunctSchool of Engineering: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Image for Philip  Doepker

Doepker, Philip  

Professor EmeritusSchool of Engineering: Innovation Center, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Image for John Hageman

Hageman, John 

Instructor, Innovation CenterFull-Time FacultySchool of Engineering: Office of the Dean
Image for James Obermeyer

Obermeyer, James 

Adjunct, Part-Time FacultySchool of Engineering: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Innovation Center