Students from Texas A&M Gain Real World Experience through Capstone Program Partnership
Cultivating and inspiring the next generation of employees is fundamental to building a sustainable future at Mauser Packaging Solutions. Through our apprenticeship program, internship opportunities, and partnerships with local organizations and institutions, we are committed to reinvigorating the manufacturing workforce. In early 2022 we further expanded our efforts by sponsoring a Capstone project at Texas A&M University’s Mechanical Engineering Department.
The capstone program bridges the gap between the classroom and industry by providing students with the opportunity to tackle real-world engineering challenges. This could include designing a new product, solving a technical problem, improving manufacturing efficiencies, and much more.
“It’s exciting to collaborate with one of the top engineering schools in the country,” said Rick Haskins, program mentor and Vice President of Research, Development, and Commercialization for the Industrial Packaging business unit at Mauser Packaging Solutions.
“The Capstone experience is a win-win for both industry and senior year students preparing themselves to enter today’s competitive work environment. Mauser Packaging Solutions gets to work with the students to solve a complex challenge with the unbiased creativity they bring to the table and the students get to hone their project management, communication and presentation skills.”
We asked the team of six students to share more about their experience so far.
What skills are you learning?
- I am developing skills that I was taught in the classroom like force analysis, material properties, and computer-aided design (CAD) modeling. More specifically, this project is allowing me to creatively apply these skills and use them in ways I haven’t before.
- I am learning more about working on a team. There have always been team projects throughout college, but none are near this magnitude. I am lucky enough to love my team as people, but that makes it even harder to provide critique when needed. I have really improved my skills on giving someone honest, helpful feedback.
What has surprised you the most about this experience?
- I am surprised by how much time and consideration must go into every single aspect of a design. While I have had previous engineering experiences in and out of the classroom, I don't think I have been involved in one where you have to do a little bit of everything since we are a small group. Usually, there are a bunch of people handling things so you get to focus on a specific part of an overall project. With this project, we all have had to become a jack of all trades.
- I have been the most surprised by the scope of the project and the collaboration strength in my team. I thought that my capstone project would be something nearly impossible that I would really struggle with. I also feared that I wouldn’t like my team and had to be with them for two whole semesters. Seeing how straightforward and tangible a solution for this project is, is really exciting and I couldn’t have a better group by my side for it.
How is this helping you prepare for a career after graduation?
- This partnership is preparing me for my career in multiple ways. Some of the major preparation involves honing my collaboration, technical writing, time management, and critical thinking skills.
- Working with a sponsor that is not with us in person is really great practice for working with vendors in industry. I plan on being a Mechanical Reliability Engineer for a chemical company upon graduation, so working with vendors to get different parts designed and reviewed is a nearly week to week occurrence. It has been really valuable getting to do something like this with Mauser Packaging Solutions, since in our case, they are our “client”. One day I may be working in projects, so this is also wonderful practice for getting used to learning exactly what a client wants.
We look forward to catching up with the students again in the coming months as the project comes to a close!