CSOPS education - the ERC Program

Graduate Education Program at C-SOPS:
A Strong Industry Mentor Program is Key to Building Tomorrow’s Leaders
Henrik Pedersen, Hector Lopez, Rutgers University ; Carlos Velazquez, Nelson Martinez, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayaguez;
Michael Harris, Carl Wasgren, Purdue University; Rajesh Davé New Jersey Institute of Technology
C-SOPS education and outreach program prepares graduate students
for work in industry and academia. Students interact with industry
through poster sessions, mentor meetings, Center meetings, summer
internships, and one-on-one interactions. Job and academic
placements remained strong in spite of the slow economy. In 2013,
seven Ph.D. candidates graduated—all accepted positions in industry or
academia: five were placed in industry (four in member companies),
and two joined as postdocs in various universities.
The SWOT Analysis conducted by C-SOPS Student Leadership Council
indicates that graduate students at the Center value their interaction
with industry mentors, and that the interaction has a significant impact
on the students' career paths and job placement.
C-SOPS focuses primarily on engineered particulate systems for
delivery of organic substances to humans and animals by transport
across cellular membranes. While the main focus remains on the
pharmaceutical industry, the science, technology and systems
approaches of our ERC are of interest to a wide range of powderbased manufacturing activities, including nutraceutical, agrochemical,
cosmetics, consumer products and defense.
• 40 Plus Active Member Companies. Manufacturing,
research, equipment, software, and regulatory are all
represented in this group
• 3-5 Industry Members Per Research Project.
Organized into four scientific thrusts, and three test
beds. The thrusts span 22 distinct research projects.
Each research project has assigned between 3-5
industry mentors.
• Purposeful Interaction with Industry Mentors.
Frequent and intense interactions with industrial
practitioners, both in the US and abroad. To this end,
students interact with industry members :
Poster Sessions at IAB and center meeting
Leading workshops for industry members
Monthly research project meetings
Summer internships
0ver 80 research poster per year are
presented by graduate students at
IAB and other meetings. These
meetings are great network
opportunities for students.
The vision is to train students to become effective engineers and
educators in the manufacturing and research operations of the
pharmaceutical and allied industries of C-SOPS, as well as to prepare
students for roles in the agencies involved in regulating drug
manufacturing operations.
Three goals articulate the vision:
1. Attract outstanding undergraduate and graduate students and
engage them in cutting edge research.
Picture show November 2013 IAB meeting in Maryland.
Over 90% of our graduate students
participate in a summer internship
before graduating.
2. Infuse pharmaceutical design and manufacturing concepts into
the traditional engineering curriculum so that many students gain
3. Provide students with the opportunity to interact with
industrial colleagues during their time at the University
and to see their research infused into functional test beds.
Over 60 industry mentors are
currently working closely with
graduate students on related
research projects.
Graduate student Krizia Karry on summer internship
celebrating with Pfizer team.
Although building tomorrows leader involves developing
students at many different levels, in this poster we focus on
briefly reviewing the impact that industry mentors have on CSOPS graduate students as stated in Goal 3.
NSF Engineering Research
Center for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS)
Graduate students (Pallavi Pawar and Sara Koynov) lead a workshop for industry partners at the November 2013 IAB meeting.
• The Student Leadership Council (SLC) completed a student review
to assess the Center’s operation for the school year 2013-2014. An
electronically administered survey taken by C-SOPS students and a
subsequent review of the survey results by the SLC.
• A total of 31 students participated in the survey. In general the
student respondents were positive on the direction of the Center
over the past year. In asking students to rank the traits of the CSOPS, it was found that the perceived strengths of the C-SOPS are
innovation, human resources and strong interaction with industry.
Students have a strong knowledge of the structure of the C-SOPS
and how they fit into the research goals of the C-SOPS.
• Although communication on all levels could be improved, students
are knowledgeable on the C-SOPS structure, value the chance to
network and communicate with industry mentors
Some survey questions included:
13. I can identify the industry mentor for my project
14. I have met the industry mentor(s) for my project
15. Please choose whether you agree or disagree with the following
a. I have had enough interaction with my industrial mentors to
receive valuable input and guidance.
b. I feel comfortable contacting my industry mentor(s) for help and
advice on C-SOPS-related research.
c. I feel comfortable contacting my industry mentor(s) for
help/advice on topics besides research (such as job
opportunities or networking).
16. Grade the overall usefulness of mentor meetings
17. Rate the quality of participation by industrial mentors in mentor
meetings (highest rating: 5)
77.7% yes
66.6% yes
90.8% SA/A
53.8% SA /A
49.9% SA/A
38.3% SA/A
84.6% very useful
3.23 average rating
Graduate education is enhanced by frequent and coordinated
interactions with industrial practitioners, both in the US and

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