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Collaboration with Honda drives student success

Honda and The Ohio State University College of Engineering celebrated their multi-faceted partnership at an event at Scott Lab on October 18 to recognize the students, faculty and Honda associates involved in real-world capstone projects sponsored by the company.

A record number of 15 capstone projects are being sponsored by Honda this year, which according to Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Director Bob Rhoads will give 73 students the opportunity to both work with a company and receive hands-on experience in an authentic and experiential learning environment.

“I think that the Honda-Ohio State Partnership, with respect to sponsoring capstone projects, is vital to the education of engineering students to prepare them to be more productive employees in industry,” Rhoads said.

The capstone projects are being completed by senior engineering students and are at various stages of development. Students are tackling a variety of challenges, from enhancing the appeal of Honda’s products through design innovations to improving their manufacturing processes in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, ergonomics, product quality and the like.

Shubho Bhattacharya, associate chief engineer at Honda North America, Inc., has worked with Ohio State Engineering for the past 17 years. He said that strong interest from Honda’s manufacturing operations is what led to the record number of sponsored projects, and that he is “privileged to work with such a youthful, energetic and dynamic brain base.”

“Respect is a Honda philosophy core value,” Bhattacharya said at the event. “We respect you. We respect your creativity, your ingenuity and your enthusiasm that you bring to these projects.”

Every group was able to give a short presentation on their project, regardless of the stage of development, to the professors and Honda associates who are working with them.

During the event, Engineering Associate Dean David Tomasko stressed the importance these projects have for industry leaders such as Honda. He said that these projects industry leaders have—ones that have been sitting on the shelf for a while—are the ones he asks to be given to College of Engineering students.

“What you’re getting are actually things that the engineers are thinking about that they would love to do if they had the time, and you are that time,” Tomasko told the students. “You are that resource that allows them to do something now, something innovative, and eventually helps them to become a better business.”

In order for students to get the most out of their respective capstone projects, professors paired students with Honda projects that aligned with their interests. The projects stretch across the College of Engineering, some specific to mechanical, civil, and electrical and computer engineering, with others integrating several engineering disciplines.

For more information on the comprehensive Honda-Ohio State Partnership, visit https://engineering.osu.edu/research/honda-osu-partnership.