Welcome Letter From the Dean

Welcome to 2021 Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Day

Tradition of excellence center stage at one of the most memorable events for Wildcat Engineers.

Craig M. Berge Design Day is a story of remarkable student success and of all the ways engineers improve people’s lives. With 99 projects, more than 100 industry judges and $46,000 in prizes, there’s a lot to be excited about in 2021.

This year COVID-19 didn’t stop design teams from safely collaborating in labs and workshops on capstone projects such as a lunar sample return system, an augmented reality app for Reed Park zoo animals, a radio telescope and biomedical devices, some related to ending the pandemic. Like last year, per university guidelines, seniors are using videos to showcase their designs instead of displaying projects at a large public gathering.

Please join us virtually for the Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Day 2021 awards at 4 p.m. on May 6 to recognize the incredible accomplishments of our seniors.

The project videos will be available following the virtual awards ceremony. These projects, a year in the making, are fantastic, and our students are thrilled to share them. Not only are the designs a testament to the technical agility and creativity of our students and mentors, but also they show why the college’s graduates are highly sought after in industry and government.

Integrating Four-Year Design Program
With last year’s launch of the Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program, Design Day and the Interdisciplinary Capstone Course became part of a lineup of competitions, maker fests, major-specific design courses, entrepreneurial and business instruction, and industry and community projects. The program immerses undergraduates at all levels in real-world experiences that integrate design, manufacturing and commercialization. Thank you to Nancy Berge and her family for their generosity and helping make the four-year design program a reality.

Thank You for Your Dedication
Design Day wouldn’t be possible without all the hard work behind the scenes. We are grateful to the program mentors, university and industry partners, sponsors, judges, faculty, staff, and alumni who have helped grow the course and event into a successful enterprise.

We owe a special debt of gratitude to Ara Arabyan, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. He has been at the helm of the college’s Interdisciplinary Capstone program for much of its existence and will be starting a well-deserved sabbatical next academic year. Under his leadership, the capstone program has more than doubled in size and become a nationally recognized institution in engineering education.

Additionally, Don Newman and Gary Redford, who have been with the program for the last decade, are retiring. Don, 2019 recipient of the College of Engineering’s Bear Down Award, has been giving back to his alma mater since he retired from the aerospace industry in 2011, and he has been the driving force behind the organization of Design Day. Gary, who brought 40 years of industry experience to his role as capstone project coordinator, has mentored more than 70 teams in his tenure with the program.

Thank you all!

Passing the Leadership Baton
Now, it is my pleasure to introduce Larry Head, systems and industrial engineering professor, as the inaugural director of the Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program. Larry will oversee the four-year program and guide strategic integration of additional experiential learning across the college. Not only does he lend 30-plus years of academic, research and industry experience, but also his record of supporting design curriculum in the college is exemplary. Please extend a warm welcome to Larry.

Bear Down, and support our Wildcat engineers!

David W. Hahn

Craig M. Berge Dean, College of Engineering


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