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EPICS @ UNM

For Students: this opportunity is available to ANY MAJOR.

For Community Partners: projects with a focus in ANY Engineering and Computing fields are encouraged.

Aim

The University of New Mexico’s Engineering Student Success Center and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department aim to launch an EPICs program at UNM for the Fall 2020 semester. Other/all interested Engineering Departments are welcome to join.

What is an EPICS program?

Download program flyer

Engineering Projects In Community Service (EPICS) is a nationally award-winning program founded at Purdue University in 1995. EPICS is an academic program where teams of students partner with community organizations to solve real world problems; to implement service-learning design projects to help address human, community, and environmental needs.
 
UNM’s program mirrors that of the EPICS program at Purdue University, while adjusting for local culture, student population, and regional needs. The program will utilize both the community partners, as well as the WHY lab. Additionally, the EPICS program will tie closely to Peace Engineering, either in concept and aim, or in connection with a Minor study (not yet formally offered at UNM).

Additionally, UNM is working closed with Purdue to join their program consortium.

Students:
  • Give back to the community and earn credit at the same time!
  • Develop technical and professional skills
    • Teamwork
    • Leadership
    • Project management
    • Interpersonal communication
    • Develop customer-awareness
    • Gain understanding of ethical, economic, & legal issues
  • Experiences the entire design/life-cycle
  • Move beyond theory and the classroom
  • Be part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Engage in design in a real-world context
  • Have a positive impact on your community
  • Build your resume/Have something to talk about in interviews
Community Partners:
  • Increase awareness of what engineering is
  • Strengthen your community relations
  • Contribute to student growth and development
  • Receive project support
Sponsors:Sponsors help the EPICS teams to fund their projects and bring the projects to life. We are greatly appreciative to all sponsors and are always looking to engage more partners to help move our community forward.
  • Fall 2020 – The first cohort starts
  • Continuous – seek community partners and funding sources
There are two pathways for student engagement. Both options use the ‘for credit’ approach through upper division course listings, at 3 credits per semester (~12 - 15 hours per week), rather than a paid position. Projects within both options are led by UNM’s Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, but are open to Juniors and Seniors of ANY major (with the understanding that projects are Engineering and Computing focused). Projects should solve real problems and span the complete design cycle (problem identification, development and conceptual design, detailed design, production, service or maintenance, and retirement, when possible and appropriate).
The main interactions will be between the student and community partner, with support from the course instructors. For the first few semesters of the program, the format of interaction are flexible and the time of meeting with instructors will be arranged at the start of the semester to best accommodate the schedules of everyone involved.
The format for the Fall 2020 Semester, courses will most likely be either hybrid or fully online. The extent of the project itself being remote vs in person is dependent on the project opportunity and the needs of the community partners. Weekly logbooks and check-ins with course instructors, as well as a capstone report will be required of students. 
Course Options:
  1. ECE 419 (ECE Senior Design for graduation). This option is for ECE students with Senior standing (within 3 semesters of graduating) interested in the 2 semester approach. (Duration of two semesters; Standard Grade) – Fall: Planning and design; Spring: Execution. As completed as a formal Senior Design course which requires a more formalized approach to the course aspect, as there are invited speakers and additional course content beyond the scope of the EPIC project. 
  2. ECE 491.012 (Dr. Jordan; 2 semester Topics Course). This option is for non-ECE Juniors & Seniors interested in the 2 semester approach. (Duration of two semester - Fall: Planning and design; Spring: Execution; Credit/No Credit). 
  3. ECE 491.033 (Dr. Devetsikiotis; 1 semester Topics Course). This option is for all Junior & Senior students interested in the 1 semester approach. (Duration of one semester; Credit/No Credit).
  • Additional information for Potential Community Partners HERE
  • Please complete THIS interest form.
    • If you select to include the Senior Design option, you must also complete THIS project description form by the 2nd week of the semester. AND, Senior Design Projects MUST accommodate teams of 2 - 4 students. If both of these requirements are not met, the projects will be offered via the Topics Course (either 1 or 2 semester approach).
  • Contact Yadéeh Sawyer, Program Coordinator at epics@unm.edu or (505) 277-9151 with any questions.
If you would like to be part of the EPICS @ UNM, please complete THIS interest form.
Whether or not the EPICS course will count towards your degree progress should be discussed with your major advisor. See "Engagement Opportunities" above for more information on options. All options are geared towards students already admitted into their major program or who are eligible for upper division courses. For Engineering and Computing students who are earlier in the academic careers, we encourage you to join our Student Research Experience Program
  • ECE Seniors (in good standing within 3 semesters of graduating) are encouraged to take the Senior Design (ECE 419) approach
  • All other students should take either ECE 491.012 (2 Semester) or ECE 491.033 (1 Semester)
  • ME students who take a 300+ ECE course may use it as a Tech elective.
  • Regardless of your major, we highly encourage you to consult with your major advisor prior to enrollment in any of the three course options.
See a list of the current community partners and programs HERE.
Have questions? Contact Yadéeh Sawyer, Program Coordinator at epics@unm.edu or (505) 277-9151.
EPICS depends on the support of corporations, foundations, institutions, and friends of EPICS at UNM to carry out its programs. Your involvement can be either in the form of financial support (please see information below) and/or leadership support at the local program level.

Financial Support/Donations help operation and development of existing EPCICS at UNM programs through:
  • Team expenses: Gift funds may be used to acquire the hardware, software, or other materials that must be purchased for the construction and deployment of the team's prototypes.
  • Student travel: These funds may be used to cover the cost of student travel between EPICS sites or to cover the student travel expenses associated with long distance meetings for a particular project. The programmatic support will provide the necessary funds to ensure that students can travel to areas related to their projects as the need arises.
  • Student Presentation Opportunities: Students are often the best spokespersons for both the EPICS program and the projects they are working on. However, there are often costs associated in preparing the professional level presentations expected for these events such as display boards and posters and general handout materials. Additionally, students can be given more chances to advance their professional presentation skills and network with members of strategic audiences.
  • Laboratory Supplies and Materials: Depending on the project, EPICS at UNM may be responsible for providing laboratory space and the basic infrastructure required for students to design, develop, and test their prototypes. Gift funds can assist in supplying the materials students need to perform their essential team functions.

The contributions of all EPICS at UNM sponsors will be cited on the EPICS at UNM Web site, and your company/foundation's name will be listed as the sponsor on all materials associated with the sponsored projects. For more information about financially supporting the EPICS at UNM Program please contact Yadéeh Sawyer, Program Coordinator at epics@unm.edu or (505) 277-9151 to express an interest and she will guide you from there.