Corporate/Business Relationships

The Department of Mechanical Engineering strives to build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships with strategic corporate partners. We invite you to explore these partnership opportunities further and work with us to co-educate the engineers of tomorrow.

Partnership opportunities

  • Student Recruiting. Iowa State boasts the nation’s largest engineering career fair, drawing 4,500 students and 1,000 recruiters representing more than 300 companies. Many companies develop relationships with students prior to graduation through co-op and intern programs or through sponsored recruiting functions. The mechanical engineering department enrolls the most undergraduate students in the College of Engineering—more than 1,000. In fact, more undergraduate students are enrolled in mechanical engineering than in any other discipline at the university. Our program ranks among the top 10 in the United States in terms of bachelor’s degrees awarded. Our students come from the state of Iowa, 20 other states, and 20 foreign countries. By the time they graduate, more than 80 percent of engineering students have participated in an industrial internship or co-op, and 25 percent will have an international study experience.
  • Academics. There are many opportunities to become directly involved in the department’s educational programs. Corporate representatives, often alumni, visit campus to deliver a guest lecture to a mechanical engineering course or one of our nationally acclaimed learning communities. Companies also interact directly with students by sponsoring a capstone design project. Naming a laboratory or meeting room can result in high visibility across the department for years to come.
  • Faculty. The department has a strong research portfolio, and many companies partner with faculty on sponsored research projects and consulting arrangements, as well as during sabbatical leaves. By establishing a named chair, professorship, or scholar position that is held by a distinguished professor, a company can receive high visibility not only within the department, but nationally as well. Iowa State is ranked second nationally in R&D 100 awards, second in research licenses and options, and tenth in patents among all U.S. universities. The National Science Foundation identifies the university as a “licensing powerhouse” because of its record of technology transfer to companies.
  • Distance Education. Many companies find the department’s distance education program—in which all graduate courses are offered online—to be useful for their employees’ lifelong learning and progress toward graduate certificates and degrees.


  • Engaging a team of students in our capstone senior design course.
  • Supporting a team of students in the department’s undergraduate research program.
  • Developing student leaders by supporting events and programs in student groups, including Women in Mechanical Engineering; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers; Pi Tau Sigma; Robotics Club; and Society of Automotive Engineers.
  • Participating in the department’s recruiting and retention diversity initiatives, including event sponsorship, scholarships, fellowships, and alumni mentoring.
  • Establishing a named seminar series to support the travel and honoraria of experts from around the country who deliver seminars to faculty and students in the university’s community.
  • Achieving significant and lasting visibility by naming a physical space, such as a conference room for student meetings and small courses, a student study and break area, an instructional computing cluster, or an instructional laboratory.

Return on investment

Corporations that partner with the department realize a return on investment that is highly leveraged by our significant size and national reputation, and we are committed to developing relationships that have a two-way value proposition:

  • Enhanced corporate name and brand recognition
  • Relationships with students and faculty
  • Pathways to improve recruiting in today’s competitive workforce environment

Points of contact

Please contact our department to discuss how we might best partner with you.

Caroline Hayes
Department Chair
Lynn Gleason Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department
2043 Black Engineering Building
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011-2161
Phone: 515 294-0356
Fax: 515 294-3261
Ryan Harms
Executive Director of Development
College of Engineering
Iowa State University
2505 University Boulevard
Ames, IA 50010-8622
Phone: 515 294-0743
Fax: 515-294-4648