If you're an engineer and want to really gain hands-on experience, definitely consider joining a project team. Being on a project team has definitely, without a doubt, been one of the best decisions I've made since coming to Cornell.
Engineer cancer-killing bacteria. Fabricate a fast, working canoe out of concrete. Design sustainable irrigation for Tanzanian farmers. All in a day's work for our student project teams.
The Project Team Experience
Cornell Engineering Project Teams offer students a unique, multifaceted learning opportunity. Entirely led and run by undergraduates, project teams collaboratively solve complex problems while gaining real-world engineering experience. Project team participation complements world-class classroom and laboratory learning, providing students with opportunities to hone leadership and professional skills alongside teammates from across the college and university. Innovation and teamwork drive the success of this unparalleled program.
Adding depth and a multidisciplinary approach, project teams are comprised of students from diverse academic backgrounds including all engineering disciplines, business, and the arts. Each team is divided into several sub-teams, so beyond sharpening technical skills, students can gain experience and expertise in business, design, marketing, fundraising, education, operations, and logistics. Faculty advisors and a dedicated project team staff provide technical and administrative support to each team and the overall program. Participants can earn academic credit for their work on a project team, which is particularly unique to this program.
Benefits of Project Team Participation
For their dedication and hard work, project team members reap boundless rewards. Project team students:
- gain practical engineering knowledge and know-how;
- design and construct novel products and systems;
- experience the complete design and build cycle for a product, system, or service;
- learn how to work and problem-solve within a diverse team;
- earn academic course credit;
- build a professional network with future colleagues, alumni, and corporate sponsors;
- hone life and work skills such as time management, professionalism, and working with limitations;
- create life-long friendships and community with their teammates.
By the Numbers
Cornell Engineering currently supports 31 project teams. This is the largest program of its kind in the country with over 1,200 student participants from all 14 engineering majors and from across Cornell’s seven undergraduate colleges/schools. Membership in project teams closely aligns with the gender ratio of the undergraduate student body at Cornell, with 53% male and 47% female participation during the 2019–20 academic year. Our project teams receive over $1 million in funding annually from the university, corporate sponsors, and individual donors. In addition to the Experiential Learning Lab, the dedicated “home” for project teams in Upson Hall, teams have access to state-of-the-art labs, workshops, and other specialized work areas across campus and beyond.
A Brief Intro
We invite you to watch Lauren Stulgis, Swanson Director of Student Project Teams, share a brief overview of our student project team program.
I love that I get to apply skills from the classroom to real world scenarios in the form of project teams and research alongside supportive staff and peers! I am on the project team Engineering World Health, where I help to come up with electrical engineering solutions to global health issues alongside companies.
Project Team News
Cornell ChemE Car Team wins 2021 AIChE Northeast Regional Competition
Congratulations to the Cornell ChemE Car team for their big win at the AIChE Northeast Regional Competition. This win secures a place for Cornell ChemE Car to compete in the national competition this fall. Great work, ChemE Car! We are so proud of all of you.
Thank you for making Giving Day 2021 a Big Red success!
In just 24 hours, you and your Cornell community have changed the future of Cornell—and the world. Your gifts, totaling $105,632, have changed the lives of the project team members and created new opportunities for the team you love. Thank you!
JanFab is a Go!
After the success of working in a modified mode and the great student cooperation this past fall semester, we are happy to announce that JanFab will happen this winter! For more info, check out our FAQ page.
In projects, students are doing real things, but with a safety net. They can experiment in a relatively low-risk environment, but there are real consequences to the decisions they’re making. And then if you reflect on that and talk about it and synthesize it, that’s where the magic happens.
Contact the Director
Swanson Director of Student Project Teams
Experiential Learning Lab
B06 Upson Hall