Richard E. Fry, IDSA, Assistant Professor
Industrial Design Program, School of Technology | Brigham Young University
Industry is often reluctant to participate in sponsored projects for education. The two traditional barriers being time, and distance. Desirable sponsors are often too far from the school to affordably participate in a sponsored project. Also, student projects can be labor intensive in terms of reviews and critiques, often requiring travel to and from the school or review venue multiple times throughout the project time-line. The requirement for extensive advance scheduling makes it difficult for the participants to modify project content, change schedules, or re-arrange participants at the last minute.
Using the Internet as a basis for project review removes the two most common barriers to sponsored projects – time and distance. Therefore, Industry contacts will be more willing to sponsor them because of the decreased resource commitment.
Through a review of four, distance run projects conducted by Brigham Young University over the past 4 semesters the potential of the medium as a project platform will be reviewed. The participating project sponsors include Mercury Marine, Baja Boats, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, The Coleman Company, and Compaq computers.