BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $100,000 gift from the Iberdrola USA Foundation to boost hands-on educational opportunities for graduating seniors.

The gift, which will be received over a three year period, will be used to enhance the Watson School’s senior capstone design experience which provides students with opportunities to apply their technical knowledge to real engineering problems.

“We are very pleased to be able to support the Watson School’s capstone course design experience with a substantial contribution from the Iberdrola USA Foundation,” said Robert Kump, chief executive officer of Iberdrola USA and a Binghamton University graduate. “The real-world skills students gain from the capstone courses are precisely the skills needed in the utility business going forward as we partner with government, educational institutions and vendors to implement technology and provide services that will help improve the quality of life for our customers.”

Seniors are required to work in teams to design, build and test a realistic engineering system under faculty supervision. Although the projects may vary between engineering disciplines, the experience provides exposure to realistic design processes, teamwork and the expectations of practicing engineers. Teams are graded on a variety of elements including their feasibility studies and design analyses, engineering drawings, prototype hardware, computer programs and data, presentations and demonstrations, and financial analyses and business plans. 

“Corporate partners have always been the cornerstone of senior design team projects and individual project sponsorship will remain important to our efforts,” said Krishnawami Srihari, dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. “Since 2003, our students have successfully initiated projects with community or civic outcomes and have been very successful in taking many of these projects to national engineering competitions. This gift will not only allow us to continue those efforts but will provide a solid financial foundation for future activities.”

The funding from Iberdrola will support a broad range of projects including those related to energy and the environment, areas within which Binghamton University engineering students already have a successful track record. In recent years, teams have explored energy and environmental challenges using wind generation to recharge electric vehicles, solar cell power conversion, supermileage vehicles and grey water disposal for economically disadvantaged countries.

The gift from Iberdrola USA, which is NYSEG’s parent company, will be recognized as part of the Bold.Brilliant.Binghamton Campaign for Binghamton University.