Science / Technology and Health

Projecting Excellence

Written by Mike Thee

June 6, 2017

students working on their project for Projects Day

Image credit: Yosef Chaim Kalinko

SU's Projects Center celebrates 30 years of high-quality, real-world projects.

Three decades of excellent, life-changing work was celebrated at Projects Day on Friday, June 2. 

Nearly 40 projects completed by teams of seniors in the College of Science and Engineering were highlighted. One of the first of its kind in the nation, the Project Center works with companies throughout the Puget Sound region to secure real-world work on science and technology projects for the students to tackle. The teams then work with faculty advisors and representatives from the sponsoring business or organization on projects in areas of civil and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, computer science and software engineering and environmental science. 

“This is a signature program of Seattle University,” said President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., in kicking off Projects Day in Pigott Auditorium. “There’s just nothing we do any better than what we do with the Project Center. Seattle U was into this so early. Our Project Center is the envy of most universities and we have such wonderful supporting sponsors.” 

Since its inception in 1987, the Project Center has partnered with more than 220 unique sponsors, many of whom have teamed with SU’s students in multiple years. 

Sponsors consistently speak to the quality of work done by SU’s students. For students, the experience is invaluable in preparing them for their careers, including the “soft skills”—such as communication—that they will need as professionals. 

This year’s student teams, which dedicated more than 1,000 hours to their projects, showed off their work in a series of presentations and poster sessions throughout the day in Sullivan Hall. 

“As I was reviewing (this year’s) 37 projects…I was struck by (their) interdisciplinarity and global focus,” said Father Sundborg. “I used to be able to understand them in my first years as president,” he added, pointing to “the advanced knowledge and complexity and diversity of the kinds of projects we have.” 

Many of the projects undertaken by the student teams have a community benefit dimension. President Sundborg highlighted one of these in his remarks—an effort to bring heating, light and ventilation to tiny houses for previously homeless people.

Click here for some scenes from this year's Projects Day, at which key sponsors were honored and student projects highlighted.