City of Hope and Toyota Receive Harvey Mudd Clinic Milestone Awards

Two organizations are being honored by Harvey Mudd College for participating in its Clinic Program and for investing in students and the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Honorees City of Hope and Toyota are sponsors of the Clinic Program, an internationally recognized hallmark of Harvey Mudd College that engages juniors and seniors in the solution of real-world, technical problems for clients in industry, government and nonprofit organizations. Each year, more than 40 sponsors work with nearly 250 students to develop solutions to business challenges and push forward the industry standard in research and development or provide a design/problem solution. The business value of the Clinic outcomes often leads sponsors to return.

The College celebrates returning Clinic sponsors, at five-year intervals, with the Milestone Award.

Fifteen Clinic Projects

Since beginning work with Harvey Mudd in 2013, the City of Hope biomedical research and treatment center has provided opportunities for students to work on various medical devices, therapies and even operating room procedures. This work has resulted in several patent applications, publications and even a startup. This year, students worked on two projects: “A More Reliable and Less Traumatic Swab for COVID-19 Testing” and “Perfecting the Ureteral Stent.”

Five Clinic Projects

Toyota has long maintained that hydrogen fuel cell technology could be a zero emission solution across a broad spectrum of vehicle types. Harvey Mudd students have partnered with Toyota liaisons to examine this technology as well as vehicle safety and performance. This year, an Engineering Clinic team examined the stability of Toyota’s Project Portal hydrogen fuel-cell semitruck and investigated how to reduce trailer instability.

Kash Gokli, Engineering Clinic director and the Oliver C. Field Professor of Manufacturing Practice and Engineering Economics said, “We are very thankful to organizations like City of Hope and Toyota for providing great learning opportunities to our students while advancing the technology.”

Under the guidance of a faculty advisor and a company liaison, students work in teams of four or five to develop solutions to technical challenges presented by sponsoring organizations. Applying their technical skills and critical thinking in creative ways, HMC students receive guidance from sponsors for several hours per week throughout the year then present their solutions at the end of the academic year. Companies retain all intellectual property rights that arise out of the project, and it is not uncommon for HMC students to be named on patents.

During the 2020–2021 academic year, students undertook 44 Clinic projects related to engineering, computer science, mathematics and physics. Several projects also have a social justice or international focus (Global Clinic). Since 1963, Harvey Mudd students have tackled challenging problems in nearly 1,700 Clinic projects for more than 500 clients, many of them Fortune 1000 companies.

Founded as an innovation in engineering education in 1963, Clinic has been expanded to other HMC academic departments and copied by institutions worldwide. The National Academy of Engineering recognized the program and three HMC faculty members—Clive L. Dym, M. Mack Gilkeson and J. Richard Phillips—with the 2012 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education “for creating and disseminating innovations in undergraduate engineering design education to develop engineering leaders.”