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 SUMMARY 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. ABOUT C-SOPS 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. INDUSTRY MENTOR PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT • 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 OUTCOMES GRADUATE EDUCATION GOALS 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 exposure. 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. www.ercforsops.org SLC STUDENT SURVEY AND ANALYSIS • 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 statements. 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 /useful 3.23 average rating CONCLUSION Graduate education is enhanced by frequent and coordinated interactions with industrial practitioners, both in the US and abroad.