Local News

N.C. State Students Gain Experience Designing Real Products

Posted May 4, 1999

— SomeN.C. Statestudents are designing new products that consumers may see in the future. The new products were pitched to corporate sponsors Wednesday.

One product design team built a model of what a new line of Ingraham clocks would look like, a unique folding design with AM-FM radio.

Research is the key to getting new products to market, and that required a team approach including "engineers, design students and business students," says N.C. State senior Spencer Hamrick. "And each one supplied their service, so to speak, of what they were good at."

Ingraham representatives say the students did a good job attacking a real challenge facing the Laurinburg, N.C. company.

"We're surprised and pleased with the research the students did to define the problem, which I think was very accurate," says Ralph Ronalter Jr. with the Ingraham Clock Company.

Other student projects involved high-tech tires, disposable inhalers and a new injection system to replace syringes. Companies say the students' fresh approach is helpful.

"We are typically constrained by our own knowledge of the business, and to kick something outside to creative thought is always an advantage for us," Ronalter said.

Corporate sponsors say students often do in one year what might take the company several years.

The product design course is taught in the University'sCollege of Management. An earlier project led to a patent for a product which a student team developed forGlaxo-Wellcome.

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