As university faculty members we accept an obligation to contribute to the well-being of society in two ways: (1) by creating knowledge and fostering technological progress through fundamental and applied research, and (2) by educating students who are prepared to be the technological leaders of tomorrow. Companies that produce the technological wealth of this country rely, in part, on our graduates and on the research contributions coming out of our offices and labs. The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department recognizes that to do our job effectively we must maintain close relationships with the industrial firms who, along with government, are consumers of what we do. A strong university-industry partnership is essential to our mission.
To foster such a partnership, the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department has in place an Industrial Affiliates Program. This program is currently directed by Professor Christopher Lynch (), who is Chair of the Industrial Relations Committee. Membership in the Industrial Affiliates Program starts at the Basic Level, $15,000 per year, which is recommended for smaller companies. Our minimum recommended level of membership for large corporations is the Gold Level ($20,000), which allows the organization to be considered an Industrial Partner of the MAE department, with commensurate additional benefits. A yet higher-level of membership is our Platinum Level ($30,000) for those companies wishing to establish a Strategic Partner relationship and potential collaborations with the department. The success of this university-industry partnership revolves around active participation, commitment, contribution and involvement from both industry and university.
The potential benefits to Industrial Affiliates include the following:
- The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department will designate one faculty member as a liaison with the Industrial Affiliate to facilitate interactions and accommodate requests between the Industrial Affiliate and the department (Platinum Level). This includes:
- Having the faculty liaison or other faculty member provide a seminar once a year;
- Having a UCLA student work on a project for the IA, either at UCLA or at the company;
- Having an engineer from the IA spend up to 3 months at UCLA collaborating with the faculty liaison and/or other faculty and students.
- The Industrial Affiliate will be given the opportunity to participate in an annual “company visit day,” to bring up to 10 engineers to the MAE department to meet with faculty, tour labs, and have a company representative provide a seminar to MAE department students, faculty, and postdocs for recruitment or other purposes (Gold and Platinum Levels).
- The department will provide multiple free admissions to the MAE Research and Technology Review meeting and to the Schoolwide Annual Technology Forum. Both involve keynote speakers and venues in which students and faculty make presentations on current research activities (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels; number of admissions based on level).
- The department will provide the Industrial Affiliates with “in-building use” of the facilities and the collection of the University’s libraries, in accordance with the University’s established policy and procedures (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels).
- The Industrial Affiliate may place one representative on the department’s Industrial Advisory Board (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels).
- The department will provide the Industrial Affiliate’s contact person with a list of near-term, exemplary undergraduates (i.e. high GPA) and graduate students with details, such as degree objective, area of specialization, expected graduation date, advisor’s name, and citizenship status (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels).
- Advance notice of management and technical conferences, seminars, and colloquia of specific interest will be provided by the department to the Industrial Affiliate (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels).
- Technical research papers, working papers, pre-publication reprints, and other publications from the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA will be made available whenever such copies are requested (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels).
- The MAE department will provide the Industrial Affiliates with a copy of the MAE annual review and other relevant technical periodicals (Basic, Gold, and Platinum Levels).
The corresponding benefits to the university include:
- Funding for scholarships, fellowships, student chapters of professional organizations, special projects and special infrastructure needs
- Input from industrial affiliates on increasing the relevance of educational and research programs
- Input from industrial affiliates’ representatives on important current trends, future directions and their strategic needs
- Assistance in student placement
- Access to reports, publications, equipment and/or research facilities (if available)
- Potential for accelerated tech-transfer of state-of-the art research into industry and accompanying high-tech opportunities for graduating students
- Potential funding opportunities for research projects at UCLA
We believe that industrial organizations and universities have critical and interrelated roles in shaping the future of our society. It is therefore natural that we should work together to make this future all that we hope for. We invite your participation in the MAE Industrial Affiliates Program. In return, we promise to do our part to provide the knowledge and talent needed to advance the theory and practice of mechanical and aerospace engineering.