University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

UConn School of Engineering Senior Design Program

The UConn Senior Design Program through the School of Engineering provides and opportunity for manufactures to work with UConn engineering students to solve technical problems with university resources, as well as work with talent that could become potential employees.

Student Expectations

  • Students will develop a project plan including a budget, time-frame, and a proof-of-concept
  • Projects will be supported by a faculty adviser
  • Report on technical background and scientific concepts will be researched and provided to the project sponsor to better understand the mechanics of what is being tested
  • Testing and prototyping required for the project will be done by students, with resulting conclusions from the project included
  • Students can be expected to follow any IP or NDA rules that go along with the project

Engineering Disciplines

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Material Science Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management and Engineering for Manufacturing

Manufacturer’s Expectations

  • Cost $5,000 – $10,000 in support of the project
  • Contact with the engineer in the supporting company about every 2 week

Contact Information

Charles Maric


IMS Industrial Affiliates Program


  • Provides access to university resources at Institute of Material Science to assist with short term materials related project for industry
  • Provides access to material testing, characterization laboratories, and faculty counsel
  • They work with small and large companies
  • Large (>500) : 12 Members
  • Medium (50-500) : 9 Members
  • Small (<50) : 8 Members
  • IAP will do longer term research projects as well as an individual fee for service projects working with faculty


  • Membership is $20,000 a year
  • Cost of other projects based on work required (Similar to faculty consulting)


Paul Nahass


Tech Park Manufacturing Institutes

Connecticut Manufacturing Simulation Center (CSMC)


  • UConn and US Economic Development Administration work to create a center to share computer modeling/CAD software and expertise with Connecticut Small/Medium Manufacturers
  • $2.1 Million investment over 5 years
  • Will provide access to computational design, modelling, simulation, and high performance computing software
  • $117,000 investment from US Commerce Department
  • Will work on subscription model for member businesses


Jeongho Kim


Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CES-MII)


Industry-led non-profit organization headquartered in Los Angeles with regional centers in CA, WA, NY, NC, TX

  • Sustained through implementation of industry-led test beds that are selected to accelerate development that are selected to accelerate development and adoption of smart manufacturing technologies
  • Test beds will be sponsored by manufacturers of varying size that will implement smart manufacturing technologies to promote their commercialization
  • Almost 200 partners in academia, industry, and non-profits working with $70 million from the Department of Energy
  • 1/3 funding from each State, Industry, and DoE

Test Beds


  • Demonstrate smart manufacturing in clean energy industries, utilities, and applications
  • Improve energy productivity through energy systems and scaled interfacing
  • Create new customer base for sensor, control, and software manufacturers


Kylene Perras


Robotics in Manufacturing Environments Manufacturing Innovation Institute (RIME-MII)


  • Enable delivery of intelligent, responsive, robotic technologies for manufacturing disciplies within CT
  • Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute (ARM) will lead institute, made up of UConn, UTRC, UTAS, and ABB Corporate in Connecticut
  • UConn will work with community colleges in CT to build robotic jobs within existing STEM programs
  • $253 Million in funding across US
  • $80 Million from Federal Government
  • Rest from 123 industrial partners, 40 academic partners, 64 government and nonprofit partners


Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (FHE-MII)


  • Working to create new, bendable, wearable electronic sensors and components
  • Operate from central hub FlexTech Alliance in San Jose
  • $75 Million in funding from DoD, $96 Million from public/private sources (Companies, Universities, Non-Profits)
  • $2.5 Million from Connecticut DECD, Federal Funds, UConn each
  • Encourages investment in return for intellectual property, new product ideas, and partnering opportunities
  • Website:


Michael Accorsi


Tech Park Research Institutes

  • FEI Center for Advanced Microscopy and Materials Analysis
  • UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering
  • P&W Additive Manufacturing Innovation Center
  • Eversource Energy Center
  • GE Advanced Technology Initiative
  • Comcast Center for Security Innovation
  • Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation
  • Center for Hardware Assurance, Security, and Engineering (CHASE)
  • Booth Engineering Center for Advanced Technologies (BECAT)


Quiet Corner Innovation Cluster (QCIC)


  • New partnership for UConn to assist Small/Medium manufacturers with new technology and R&D resources within Windham and Tolland Counties
  • New for the university that traditionally partnered with large firms and startups
  • QCIC will provide access to a new Proof of Concept Center (POCC) to help develop new products and services for CT SMMs through commercialization and R&D capabilities at the university
  • Connecticut Innovations (CI) will partner with SMM enterprises to provide financial and business support and UConn will make the new Innovation Partnership Building and Tech Park resources available
  • CI and UConn will pledge $500,000 in funding and IPB building space for the project with the goal of creating 2,500 jobs by 5 years after the grants end
  • Website:


Kathy Rocha



CONNSTEP solved a huge problem for us and helped us bring our delivery rate to 100%. As a direct result of that, we have been awarded with an increase in business which, ultimately, will also benefit (our supplier) Har-Conn.”

CT manufacturer Pegaasus

Chris DePentima

CEO, Pegasus Manufacturing Inc.

“I see great value in the new experiences and perspectives CONNSTEP brings to our business, at reasonable prices. They’re not like consultants, they’re like partners in the business – willing to roll up their sleeves and help.”

AGRussell logo

Mark Burzynski

President, Arthur G Russell Co

“CONNSTEP has proved to be a tremendous resource for ESI. CONNSTEP has helped us to adapt to today’s marketplace and remain a quality minded, competitive global player. Our ISO/TS16949 implementation process was efficient and rewarding. I look forward to our future projects with CONNSTEP.”

esi CT manufacturer

Ron Delfini

President, Engineering Specialties Inc.

“CONNSTEP worked with FuelCell Energy to educate and facilitate Lean initiatives and to help meet our needs to establish an overall production improvement plan. This plan has been utilized over a period of time as a ‘guiding light’ to spur numerous improvements that dramatically reduced our product cost.”

Tom Lucas

Manager, Fuel Cell Energy

“CONNSTEP is a valuable partner to Hologic, providing the expertise and ‘outside eyes’ everyone needs to keep their continuous improvement on track. We are now well-positioned on a dynamic growth path and look forward to a long-term relationship with CONNSTEP.”

Greg Safarik

VP Manufacturing Operations, Hologic

“Our experience working with CONNSTEP has brought us benefits we never expected. It’s a great team to work with!”

Bruce Wheeler

VP of Operations, Metal Finishing Technologies Inc.

“The goals of the team were to reduce manufacturing lead-time, reduce floor space utilized, and increase worker productivity. All the goals were met. CONNSTEP helped us to better compete.”

Tornik CT manufacturer

Dan Rubbo

General Manager, Tornik LLC

“The Business Growth Program is working well for us. We enhanced our website following the meetings to improve our SEO and become more visible to search engines. The segment on negotiating …  promoted changes in our thinking and improved how we interact with customers. The mentoring between sessions was helpful in boosting our progress.”

CT manufacturer Colonial Spring

Bill Lathrop

President, Colonial Spring Co.

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