Cooperative Education Month

By Website Administrator | Feb 2, 2007

Governor Jennifer Granholm has declared February to be Cooperative Education Month in the State of Michigan. At Kettering University it is always Cooperative Education Month.

Governor Jennifer Granholm has declared February to be Cooperative Education Month in the State of Michigan. At Kettering University it is always Cooperative Education Month.

Students at Kettering rotate three-month academic terms with three-month professional cooperative education work terms year round. Their co-op jobs are directly related to their academic fields of study. The integration of professional work experience and classroom instruction allow student to apply what they learn directly to real world problems.

Examples of Kettering co-op experiences include Nate Dennis at Takata restraints Inc., Ricardo Rodriguez at Magna International Inc., and Sam Perlmutter at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Northwestern University Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science.

Their experiences illustrate how Kettering's cooperative education program gives students a professional advantage at graduation. Not only do they have two full years of work experience on their resume, they also understand how to apply their knowledge in the real world.

Kettering senior Nathaniel Dennis, of Grand Blanc, Mich., is a Mechanical Engineering major with a Bioengineering applications concentration. His co-op employment at Takata Restraints Inc., producer of occupant safety systems for automobiles, in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Dennis first became interested in Bioengineering through his co-op assignment. "I work in the advanced air bag development group," he explained, "one of our areas of focus is to determine the mode of injury to people during a car crash and then design a countermeasure that will prevent that injury in the future. I enjoy studying how the human body reacts during different external influences," he said.

Scheduled to graduate in June 2007, Dennis plans to continue to work in the occupant protection industry and pursue a master's degree in Bioengineering.

Ricardo Rodriguez, of Mexico City, Mexico, is a Mechanical Engineering major working for Magna International Inc., global supplier of automotive systems. His work assignments have included postings in Saltillo, Mexico; Troy, Mich.; Ontario, Canada; Greenville, S.C.; Shanghai, China; and Nagoya, Japan, giving him an international engineering co-op experience with some heavy duty responsibilities often managed by mid-level engineering professionals.

Engineering co-op; engineering changes coordinator; process engineer; lean manufacturing leader; quality leader; launch coordinator. These are just some of the titles Rodriguez has held at Magna since becoming a co-op student with the organization. What lead him to Kettering was the school's "close ties to the automotive industry and the chance to gain a major head start by working for two years before I graduated college," he said.

He is scheduled to graduate in 2007, and will pursue an MBA at Harvard University.

Sam Perlmutter, of Detroit, Mich., graduated in 2006 as a Mechanical Engineering major who did research in bio-mechanics at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Northwestern University Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science. He became a research assistant at Northwestern and started working on a project that tested elbow injuries in throwing athletes on cadaver arms. He spent a year and a half designing a test protocol and testing device, performing experimental testing and analysis of data, sometimes during up to 90-hour work weeks.

Perlmutter presented his research at a bio-mechanics conference in front of experts from Belgium, England, Asia and the United States. He was the only undergraduate presenter from around the world.

After graduation Perlmutter planned to attend Northwestern University to earn a doctorate in physical therapy and a Ph.D. in bio-medical engineering.

Click on this link for more information about Kettering's cooperative education program.

To learn more about the history of Cooperative Education, read our story "Co-op turns 100."

Written by Dawn Hibbard, Pat Mroczek and Gary Erwin
810-762-9865
dhibbard@kettering.edu