NEO was a Corporate Sponsor and Rich Roland as an individual also supported and helped create the IPD program at Lehigh Univesity from the ground floor: Teaching Staff, Advisor, Lecturer, and Program Curriculum Development Consultant, 1990-1996
So, what is IPD?
It is a set of courses that allows students from any college at Lehigh to work with students from other disciplines on a real-world industry sponsored project. Each project team has a faculty adviser and together with an industry mentor, the team follows a proven process that identifies a problem, formulates it into a business opportunity, encourages wild ideas to generate innovative solutions, provides the resources to fabricate, build and test the best solution for technical, social, economic and personal relevance and value. Undergraduates can spend two or three semesters on this project and this experience can be continued into a Master of Engineering in IPD.
- The IPD program was started in 1990 as a result of a meeting at Lehigh of industrial leaders gathered to help and advise the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics faculty on how to improve the quality of our graduates who plan to work in industry.
- In 1994 we launched our pilot which in 1996 received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Curriculum Innovation Award.
- From 1996 to 2001 the program received several large grants from alumni, foundations, state and local government for the development of infrastructure to support real-world, industry-sponsored projects.
- From its beginnings in 1990 IPD has grown to include over 300 students from fourteen majors work in 50 teams each academic year.