An Application of “InThinking” to University-Industry Collaborations

William Bellows1 and S. Jimmy Gandhi2
1Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, 2California State University, Northridge


Abstract

University – Industry collaborations have been in existence for a long time, particularly at larger schools. In addition to working on joint research projects, collaboration with industry is critical for academia to be able to understand industry requirements for their students and thus be able to produce a better product, which would be more employable students for industry. In turn, collaborations with universities are important for industry because they think of the universities as a “supplier” of human capital.Currently, it seems that academics engage with industry to mainly support their research activities. In order to support their research activities, academics have used varying methods when collaborating with industry, which include joint research, contract research and consulting. Academics also work with industry professionals to be able to contribute to the existing body of knowledge in their field. In this paper, by building upon a 17-year old model for presenting basic concepts for InThinking, the authors are partnering to develop a model to extend InThinking to industry-university collaborations, one based upon extending PWR’s extensive collection of finely developed inhouse seminars. In addition, efforts are underway to engage undergraduate and graduate students in applications of InThinking that will prepare them to enter industry with experience in how to foster an environment of “thinking together, learning together, and working together.”