The Idaho Engineering Works (IEWorks) began as a simple
notion that there had to be a way to improve interaction
between faculty and graduate students. Something more than
an article for the faculty member and a graduate degree for
the student should result from the educational process. The
first lesson that the IEWorks learned was that it is not
what you get that matters, it is what you give. From this
lesson, the desired attributes of being people-oriented,
team focused, and stewards of departmental resources were
An innovative model for developing leadership skills
among graduate student mentors, senior design students, and
even faculty, IEWorks started in 1994 as an informal group
whose purpose was to develop an environment that fostered
professional and technical excellence. Instead of focusing
on the research or engineering hardware, IEWorks stresses
human dynamics, communication, teamwork, personal
reflection, and professionalism. By investing in the “human
side” of engineering, professional and technical excellence
can be more efficiently obtained.
To provide a context for the model, the group focused
their efforts on the Mechanical Engineering depatment's
capstone design sequence. The IEWorks began teaching faculty
and graduate students how to mentor senior design students.
The mentoring included shop and CAD laboratory capabilities
and CNC machining and solid modeling. The result has been an
increase in the quality both of the students’ experiences
and the products that have been developed.
from a paper by Edwin M. Odom, Steven W.
Beyerlein, Blaine W. Tew, Ronald E. Smelser, and Donald M.
Blackketter, Mechanical Engineering Department and the
National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology,
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID.
Some IEWorks Graduates after Graduation
- Dan Cordon--University
of Idaho-- research & teaching
- Levi Westra--Clarkston, WA--SR Corporation
- Matthew Cunnington--Richland, WA--Bechtel
- Nathaniel Allen--Boise, ID--Hewlett Packard
- Eric Clarke--Seattle, WA--Kenworth Trucks
- Heather Jones--Richland, WA--Battelle
- Kyle Organ--Spokane, WA--Keytronics
- Robert Sachtjen--Spokane, WA--Keytronics
- Dave Reiche--Detroit--Ford Motor Co.
- Andron Morton--Boise, ID--Wabtec
- Chris Schroeder--Phoenix, AZ--Intel
- Shawn Riffe--Sandpoint, ID--Encoder Products
- Jeff Smutney--Spokane, WA--Wagstaff
- John Teel--Boise, ID--Jabil Circuit
- Brent Talsma--Portland, OR--Precision Cast
- Tom Kvanvig--Phoenix, AZ--Intel
- Shawn Harris--Portland, OR--Xerox
- Tom Pfeifer--Idaho Falls, ID--Argonne National
- David Alexander--Moscow,
ID--his own engineering firm--Cačlex