Strategic Partnerships with Oregon Tech

Among Oregon universities, Oregon Tech is special in the way it incorporates applied research into the curricula of every department.

Share this article!

Among Oregon universities, Oregon Tech is special in the way it incorporates applied research into the curricula of every department. Through partnerships with many Oregon businesses, Oregon Tech faculty and students are able to directly integrate current field practices and products into our efforts to educate students. Our individualized and applied approach to teaching, which blends theory and practice, is the main reason our alumni are so avidly recruited.

Collaboration between Oregon Tech and industry leadership has built strong education-career pathways and supports. Faculty work hard to connect to industry partners and advisors to ensure that Oregon Tech’s courses integrate new technologies and are responsive to business needs for skilled professionals. We continually partner with industry leaders to ensure that our programs and classes are at the top of the board with adapting to new technology and preparing students for workforce demands.

Strategic Partnerships

One such partnership is through Oregon BEST and Arcimoto, Inc. With funding assistance from Oregon BEST, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Arcimoto, Inc. is partnering with Oregon Tech to design and implement technology that could lead to cleaner solutions for the electric vehicle industry.

Arcimoto, the Eugene, Ore. maker of three-wheeled electric vehicles, approached Oregon Tech because of the school’s expertise in energy storage and the capability of its Energy Storage Lab, directed by professor Slobodan Petrovic.

Renewable Energy Engineering graduate students at Oregon Tech’s Wilsonville campus are among those working on the project. The goal of partnering with one another is to develop and test various designs to improve efficiency and create a more consistent product, ultimately enabling for better prediction of battery life.

One research path seeks to optimize the life of lithium-air batteries in electric vehicles so they can go further on one charge. Jeremiah Deboever, master’s candidate in MSREE, said, “Although challenging, lithium-air batteries have a great promise to increase the range of battery powered vehicles. I am really excited to be part of the foundation of a new laboratory at Oregon Tech Wilsonville with research geared towards long-term actions to improve the electrical vehicle industry.”

The other research path seeks to find methods to increase efficiency in automobiles that consume gasoline. “This project aims to identify a method for low-cost modification of used automobiles to obtain higher gas mileage,” said Matthias Dean-Carpentier, master’s candidate in MSREE. The research will focus on maximizing efficiencies in fuel/air mixture injected into the engine during operation, injection timing, ignition timing, valve timing, and compression.

Fabrication of the new battery pack prototypes will be done by another Oregon company, Cascade Systems Technology of Hillsboro.

Industry-Supported Projects

Industry support is crucial to providing our students with career-ready curriculum. As the final component of their degree through Oregon Tech, students are required to complete a Senior Project, a year-long sequence which is supported through a donation of $2,500 per project. Industry partners are invited to help students design a project that exposes Oregon Tech students to relevant and contextualized challenges.

Senior projects can be industry-identified, non-critical-path projects that represent a complete system or product, integrating analysis, simulation, software, hardware, or other aspects of research by academic department, as appropriate. The scope of the projects is usually similar to what the company would assign to a full-time summer intern. The industry supporter also provides a project description – stating the scope of the problem to be solved – and identifies a mentor to work with the student(s) on at least a monthly basis throughout the year.

Industry Benefits

  • Opportunities for company to work with promising students on non-critical-path solutions
  • Well-trained potential employees
  • Ability to impact student training and preparation for employment
  • Increased company visibility and community engagement
  • Strengthens relationship with Oregon Tech for future applied research or employment of graduates
  • Provides the opportunity to evaluate students, with no obligation to hire

Student Benefits

  • Knowledge of project design cycle, industry expectations, and team work
  • Relevant, rigorous, and contextualized education prior to entering the labor force
  • Prepared and ready for career after college
  • Relationship with industry partner

The bottom line

More qualified graduates, who are knowledgeable and skilled in the latest practices, mean Oregon companies can get the high-end skills they need to grow their businesses in an increasingly competitive world. Partnerships provide industries with graduates ready and qualified to provide solid technical and problem-solving skills. Business partnerships have been a key element of Oregon Tech’s focused strategy to give students a rigorous, practical education while applying cutting-edge concepts for real-world solutions.


To learn more about Oregon Tech or how to partner with the university, contact the Office of Strategic Partnerships at 503.821.1288 or email [email protected].