Senior engineering students work in conjunction with engineers from industry or government and University of Iowa faculty members on a design project. The goal is for students to gain experience in the design process ranging from conceptualization, to prototyping, to testing and evaluation, and to production. Students gain first-hand experience in solid modeling, finite element analysis, dynamic simulation, and cost analysis. Emphasis is placed on communication skills, including written reports, and periodic oral presentations. Since its creation in 1994, the Program for Enhanced Design Experience has built strong ties between students, professors, industry, and others outside academia.


  1. Gain experience by working directly with an industrial firm, governmental agency, or other business while taking senior-level engineering courses.
  2. Work with real-life design and product development projects that are scheduled for production.
  3. Work with modern information technology, such as solid modeling and visualization tools.
  4. Work with advance computational tools, such as finite element, dynamics, and process simulation software.
  5. Are exposed to the business and marketing dynamics of real-world applications.
  6. Enhance personal skills, such as managing time effectively, developing project management skills, achieving milestones of the project, and making decisions.
  7. Are in a position to assume more responsibilities in an industrial, government, or other business environment upon graduation.

PEDE involves:

  1. Jump-Start Week (JSW) designed to (a) bring the students to a high level of awareness of the operations at the firm/agency, (b) introduce the students to the personnel at the firm/agency, (c) introduce the students to the design project and engineers, and (d) initiate the design process. JSW is held for two days before the start of classes for the fall semester and the students spend the time at the firm/agency.
  2. Students working on the design project for nine months.
  3. Students receiving six hours of academic credit for two semesters.
  4. Students working closely with faculty and industry engineers.


  • Advanced Infoneering Inc.
  • Alcoa
  • Allsteel
  • Emerson
  • John Deere
  • Maytag
  • Pella
  • Rockwell Collins
  • University of Iowa Health Care
  • University of Iowa Facilities Management
  • U.S. Navy
  • Oral-B

Requirements for PEDE

ME Design Project Lab
Department of Mechanical Engineering
1307 SC and G130 SC
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242