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Industry & Community Partners

QL+ Faculty, Dean, and Donor. Photo by Dennis Steers.

QL+ Donation. Photo by Dennis Steers.


The College of Engineering works closely with industry through a broad array of intellectual and mutually beneficial partnerships that offer opportunities to invest in innovation, cutting-edge engineering and computer science education, and the next generation of leaders in engineering and technology.

Corporate Partners Program

The College of Engineering seeks to maximize opportunities for collaborative, mutually-rewarding associations with corporate partners in order to meet the engineering and computer science workforce needs of the state and nation, promote student learning, and facilitate research and technology transfer.

In developing such partnerships, the College of Engineering works to address the unique interests of each individual company, whether those interests are to expand corporate name recognition; provide access to world-class faculty, student and graduates; or offer targeted applied research support.

Industrial Advisory Boards

DAC and IABs.

The Dean's Advisory Council (DAC) and departmental industrial advisory boards (IAB) were established to enhance this relationship and to serve as vehicles for input from industry and government regarding a wide range of issues affecting the excellence of education at the college.

Council and Board Objectives

The objective of the Dean's Advisory Council and the departmental advisory boards is to assist in maintaining the excellence of engineering and computer science education at Cal Poly and to encourage the continuance of the College of Engineering's traditional "hands-on" approach. Specific goals include the following: 1) serving as a communication link between the college and its constituencies; 2) helping to keep CENG programs up-to-date on current and future needs of graduates and the professions; 3) assisting the college and its programs in developing and implementing its goals; 4) helping industry leaders to better understand the college's mission; and 5) helping the college and programs in seeking public and private support.


Industrial advisory council and board members serve by invitation from the College of Engineering Dean and department chairs.

Named Laboratories Program

Learn by Doing

A world-class, Learn by Doing engineering education requires state-of-the-art laboratories. However, Cal Poly receives no state support for lab maintenance, operation or upgrades. Instead, private donors have provided the signature campus spaces that enable student to discover how to innovate and bring their designs to life.

Engineering lab sponsorship provides discretionary funds for equiment, technology, supplies and routine maintenance. The College of Engineering offers term and permanent naming opportunities for lab sponsorship.


Term Naming: Lab sponsorship begins at $10,000 per year with a five-year commitment. During that time, the sponsor organization will be recognized in the lab and in the classes and project work within the lab. Funds are used for supplies, materials, equipment, and graduate support. Some labs require additional financial support. In-kind equipment grants may be considered for lab sponsorship, when that equipment supports the core of the lab activities.

Permanent Naming: Depending on the facility, permanent naming and signage recognition is usually assoiciated with a gift of $250,000 to establish a lab endowment.

For more information, please contact the College Advancement Team.

Corporate Applied Research

As the nation's leader in hands-on engineering and computer science education, Cal Poly provides a project- and design-centered environment that supports applied research in a wide range of multidisciplinary or discipline-focused areas. Corporate sponsorship of faculty and student applied research projects offers unique opportunities for industry/university collaboration and problem solving.

Applied research projects generally fall into one of four general types:

  • Sponsored Projects - Sponsored projects can take advantage of individual faculty expertise and research interests or they may involve multidisciplinary groups of students and faculty working on well defined project objectives with very specific milestones and deliverables.
  • Graduate Student Projects - Graduate Student Projects tend to be individual and technically oriented.
  • Capstone Projects - Faculty-advised student groups and teams undertake Capstone Projects in the context of a senior series course or a club project. Examples include the annual Design/Build/Fly teams or the Ford-sponsored FutureTruck project.
  • Senior Projects - All Cal Poly undergraduate students are required to complete a Senior Project, which includes design, analysis, fabrication, testing, and completion of a final report. The Senior Project can be done on an individual basis, or it can be an integrated effort resulting in several projects completed in a cooperative effort by students of varied disciplines. This "team" approach is often well suited to broader problems confronting an industrial sponsor.

To participate in sponsored research at the College of Engineering contact the College Advancement Team.

Sponsorship Programs

Sponsorship Opportunities: The College of Engineering seeks to meet the interests and gifting priorities of supporting companies by tailoring corporate sponsorship agreements on an individual basis. In addition to a named laboratory or a sponsored applied research project, therefore, companies may choose numerous other ways to connect with CENG's engineering and computer science students and faculty. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Individual student scholarships can be targeted to specific majors and need areas.
  • Student club or club project sponsorship supports the kinds of hands-on project activities that enrich the learning curve of Cal Poly students. Because of its heavy emphasis on dozens of co-curricular activities and student professional organizations such as IEEE, ASME, SME, Cal Poly Space Systems Club, ASCE, and many others, the College of Engineering sees club sponsorship as an important aspect of its partnership with industry.
  • Faculty development funds help the college provide competitive opportunities to attract and retain the best faculty talent available while also creating on-campus corporate liaison opportunities.
  • Course or course project sponsorships allow companies to target resources to specific discipline areas and students majoring in fields directly applicable to corporate interests.
  • Program sponsorship targets specific departments, majors, or particular programs within majors that impact corporate operations.
  • Consortia, institute, or center membership enables companies to leverage their support for a particular project or professional interest area with other groups and corporations. Two current consortia established in the college include the Electric Power Institute in the Electrical Engineering Department and the Manufacturing Consortium in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department.

Funding Options: Companies may provide a short-term sponsorship or establish an on-going partnership.

  • Year-by-year gifts or one-time project sponsorship allows companies to direct support to corporate priorities during a specific academic year.
  • Endowments can be established in amounts as small as $10,000. This funding vehicle has the advantage of providing stable financial support in the long-term, continuous growth, continuity, and an on-going campus presence for the gifting company.

For more information contact the College Advancement Team.

Submit a Project

A leader in engineering education, the College of Engineering promotes project-based learning to link theory with hands-on practice. Industry-sponsored projects provide an opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate, hone their engineering skills and develop solutions to sophisticated, real world problems. If you would like to sponsor a project in the College of Engineering, please fill out the form below and we will connect you with a faculty/student team that can work on your project, if appropriate. If you need further information, please contact:

Dr. Lily Laiho
Director of Interdisciplinary Projects
College of Engineering
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0350

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