Become a Client

What to Expect

The Cornerstone Program is pleased to have the opportunity to provide our students with “real world” design problems presented by clients and their organizations. This interaction not only strengthens each student’s understanding of technical design and problem-solving skills by dealing with a realistic over- or under-constrained problem, but also helps to develop the “soft” skills, like communication and teamwork, that are the often toughest to teach – but are arguably the most useful. While every project certainly has its own nuances, you can roughly expect the following for your role in a Practice of Design project:

  1. Your organization supplies a representative who is willing and available to interact with the Cornerstone team(s) periodically throughout the one-semester course.  Student teams are formed based on their choice of project. You will meet with each project team of four-six students for presentations and consultation at least three (3) times during the semester. You determine the number of teams that you wish to work with.
  1. The Cornerstone instructors help you to form a statement of the design problem in the form of a business letter. This enables each team to start their problem identification and research phase from the first day of the semester. For EDNS 251 projects, this letter forms the basis for the indication of project preferences by the students.
  1. Students may request data as they begin the problem-solving process. Examples include research data, plant or process information, and computer programs that might help the team with the project. If the specific data is unavailable or hard to find, you may be asked to provide guidance as to how students can procure this information themselves. Of course, some subject matter is sensitive or confidential. If this is the case with your project, please notify the professor as well as the team, so that appropriate measures can be taken to ensure confidentiality.
  1. Depending on your project, your student team might actually invent something worth patenting! If that is the case, the student team is the inventor, per  35 U.S.Code 101, Inventions Patentable:
“Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

For this reason, student teams will not completely relinquish their patent rights. All discussions among mentors, student teams and clients about inventions that might be eligible for patenting should include the CSM Legal Department, as the legal representative of CSM and its students.

Ready to Join Us?

If you have an idea for a Cornerstone project that meets our project guidelines, we would love to see your proposal!
We are always accepting submissions.