Clemson and Private Industry Present Product Innovation Results

Jason Premo,
President SME Chapter 164
(864) 915-8658
[email protected]


Greenville, SC (Monday May 22, 2006) — A special awards ceremony celebrating the results of the Clemson Product Innovation and Realization Program will be held on June 12th at the Commerce Club in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Attendees will have a unique opportunity to witness the power of private industry and university collaboration, to achieve higher levels of innovation and competitive advantages here in the Upstate.

Congressman Bob Inglis is scheduled to be the keynote speaker and will kick off several presentations given by Clemson student design teams, followed by an awards ceremony sponsored by the local chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). Projects include a number of private industry sponsored initiatives ranging from turning patented concepts into working prototypes, refining manufacturing systems to improve productivity, and even helping local entrepreneurs develop or refine “go to market” strategies.

“This represents a radical change in traditional student design projects by incorporating a cross-functional and multi-disciplinary approach,” states Dr. Joshua D. Summers, Program Founder and Assistant Professor with Clemson’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Undergraduate and Graduate students, engineering and non-engineering, domestic and international, are all brought together to form a product innovation team focused on a real-world project sponsored by private industry, within a very rapid timeframe,” Dr. Summers adds.

“We’re very excited to bring this event to life and build further awareness of innovation in the Upstate,” said Jason Premo, SME Chapter President. “We’ve seen many recent examples of private industry and academia successfully partnering together to develop solutions that deliver competitive advantages. We want to see this trend continue and invite leaders from around the community to help us build momentum for this truly beneficial program.”

To Attend the Event:
The event will be held on Monday June 12th between 11:30am and 1:30pm at the Commerce Club, located in the Liberty Building at 55 Beattie Street in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Registration is required in advance no later than June 7th and space will be limited to the first 100 people. Cost is $25.00 per person, includes a great lunch buffet, and is 100% charitable tax deductible. Attendees may RSVP online at or send a personal check made to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Chapter 164, in care of Jason Premo, Club President, at 115 Cureton Street, Greenville SC, 29605.

About SME:
For over 70 years, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers has been the world’s leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions, and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing engineers and executives annually. The Society has members in 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of chapters worldwide. For more information on the upstate South Carolina chapter, visit

About Clemson (Product Innovation & Realization Program):
The Mechanical Engineering Department at Clemson University has been a leader in curricular innovation, as with the introduction of the Senior Capstone Internship in Design sequence that was started nearly three decades ago in which mechanical student design teams tackled industry sponsored design projects in a 15 week semester. Continuing in this spirit, the next evolution industry/university collaboration is developing at Clemson. To better prepare students for leadership and entrepreneurial positions, we have developed a novel course that operates in a two-week time frame in which student teams of graduate and undergraduate including engineering, business, humanities, or fine arts majors are coached by Clemson design faculty in product innovation and realization through a hand’s-on, project oriented course where projects are supported by industry and the deliverables include new concepts justified by physical and virtual prototypes, business plans, and marketing analysis. This course was developed based on feedback that Clemson has received from industry about the skills that our future graduates are going to need to succeed in the global market place. For more information, on this program and the design research activities at Clemson, contact Joshua D. Summers, Assistant Professor at [email protected] or visit
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