MEDITEC allows companies to work on projects with Cal Poly students. This can allow companies to make valuable progress on “back burner” or non-critical path projects with the bright minds and fresh perspectives of Cal Poly engineering students, while also getting to know potential future hires.
The MEDITEC program allows projects to remain confidential, and companies own any IP that is generated.
Students have capabilities and resources related to a wide range of engineering project needs, including machine shops, computer-based modeling, Instron and material testing, material characterization, SEM imaging and other microscopy, cell culture and histology facilities, and more. Project focus and scope, on-campus resources, student capabilities, and other program-related questions can be discussed with Professor Kristen Cardinal prior to project submission.
The company, specifically the industry technical advisor, generates the project. Projects can come from a variety of departments or business units within a company. The company will fill in a short project proposal form, identifying the project advisor, project need, overall goals with a brief project description, and desired skill sets.
Companies pay $6000 per project. The funds are used to support basic project supply costs, student travel to the industrial site, and other project and program related expenses. If projects require extensive materials, expensive components, precision machining, or other high-cost items, the company may need to help ensure additional resources.
Note: The MEDITEC program allows for stream-lined, cost-effective project support. It is not a philanthropic donation, nor is it a traditional deliverable-based contract.
Projects can be submitted anytime, but running the project on an academic cycle maximizes the number and quality of student applicants and the chances for success. This means that the ideal time to generate projects is in August. If projects are received by the end of August, student teams can be matched for September kick-offs, allowing projects to commence immediately once the academic year begins. These projects typically run until June. It is also possible to run shorter projects from January to June, or other off-cycle timelines, based on industry need and student availability.
Project work is performed primarily on campus during the academic year. Students work around their courses to meet as a team, to meet remotely with the industry technical advisor, and to make progress towards the project goals. Teams typically consist of 2-4 students, and teams should be putting approximately 15 hours per week (total, divided among team members) towards the project. Teams are encouraged to visit the industry site once per quarter to see the facilities, meet with key stakeholders, and get in-person feedback.
Formal MEDITEC activities are typically scheduled in September for project kick-offs, February for Interim Presentations, and June for Final presentations.
Project Completion: Final presentations are given at the industry site at the end of the project, and a final written report is provided for each project.
The industry technical advisor should be ready to support their team throughout the duration of the project. Weekly or biweekly phone calls or remote check-ins are necessary to support project success. Advisors should also be responsive to email questions and updates from the team.
Frequently Asked Questions
What paperwork is required to establish the confidentiality and IP agreements? Can we negotiate particular aspects or include company-specific requirements in this paperwork? Projects run through the MEDITEC program use a Cal Poly “Student Project Agreement” that covers confidentiality and IP ownership. Use of this form allows the streamlined and cost-effective process outlined above. If you would like to negotiate the content in the agreement, or use company-specific forms, the cost per project increases and extra time must be allowed.
How are students selected? Can we provide input? The Cal Poly MEDITEC Director works closely with companies and students to try to find the right fit. This includes finding students with the right major, background, and skillsets for each project. A large number of students submit resumes to the program, and the Cal Poly Director reviews them closely with each project in mind, then interviews students prior to any matching. If a company would like to screen or interview potential candidates, that can be arranged.
Do students have an advisor at Cal Poly also? Yes – students have an academic advisor to ensure they are making progress on the MEDITEC project and to make sure resources are available and any academic credit is being received. The academic advisor is not expected to advise the project technically – the technical advising comes from the industry sponsor. The academic advisor signs the confidentiality and IP paperwork.
Do we get to keep the prototype? At the end of a project, all outcomes from that project (prototypes, datasets, etc) are given to the company.
If we have any concerns about the team, or a particular student on the team, who should we contact? You should contact the Cal Poly MEDITEC Director with any issues or concerns.
To submit or discuss projects for the MEDITEC program, contact Professor Kristen O’Halloran Cardinal in the Biomedical Engineering Department at firstname.lastname@example.org