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Outreach and services

Doctor Tammy Reid Bush with her students look at a computer.

Private gifts perform a vital role in the education and enhancement of services for the mechanical engineering student. The quality of our programs is reflected in the support received from our alumni and friends, like you. We appreciate all that you do to help the current and future students in mechanical engineering at MSU.

Although Land Grant institutions like Michigan State receive a significant portion of their funding from state government appropriations and student tuition, these dollars are limited. Private financial support has become a critical source of support as we seek to maintain programs and create new initiatives.

Your commitment makes the difference. Cash gifts go to work immediately to enhance the education of our students, while endowments and other planned gifts are investments in the educational opportunities offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering well into the future.

Please see below a list of the department-wide opportunities for which you can contribute to Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. By clicking on the green A and number you will be directed to Michigan State University's secure online giving site for your personal and credit card information.

Thank you for your donations!

Departmental support

  • Biomechanical Design Research Laboratory - Tamara Bush - A306281
  • ME Chair Discretionary Fund - A306
  • Mechanical Engineering Visionary Growth Fund- A306
  • ME 481 Design Program - A30618
  • Design Manufacturing Center - A30621
  • Energy and Automotive Research Laboratory - A30620

Scholarships for undergraduate students

  • Somerton Family Scholarship - A30611
    The Melvin and Geraldine Somerton Undergraduate Scholarship endowment was established to honor the parents of Diana and Craig Somerton. They recognized that the contributions of their parents to their careers in engineering, education, and to the profession itself could be continued for generations to come through the support it would provide to junior and senior mechanical engineering students with strong academic records and participation in extracurricular activities.
  • Craig W. Somerton Scholarship - A306271
    The Craig W. Somerton Endowed Scholarship was established to honor the work and contributions made by Craig W. Somerton. During his almost 30 years of service to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MSU, Dr. Somerton was always at the forefront of engineering education. He served as advisor to the American Society of Mechanical Engineering for over 20 years and was the advisor to the BAJA team. He championed student causes and was known for his door always being open.
  • Gary Cloud Scholarship - A300502
    Established to honor Gary Cloud, longtime faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and equally longtime adviser to the SAE Formula team.
  • Charles St. Clair Scholarship - A30004
    St. Clair Scholarship is supported by an endowment fund established to honor former ME professor Charles St. Clair who is endearingly remembered by his former students and colleagues as a man who cared about his students and was committed to them. Students receiving the St. Clair scholarship demonstrate outstanding academic abilities and strong participation in extracurricular activities. Professor St. Clair served as Head of Mechanical Engineering for 20 years.
  • Charles and Mary Jane Spalding Scholarship - A3005121
    Spalding Scholarship is supported by an annual gift from ME Alumni David Spalding (BSME ’67) in honor of his parents Charles (BSME ‘40) and Mary Jane, provides for five $5,000 scholarships that recognize mechanical engineering students with outstanding academic performance who have financial need. Mr. Spalding is founder of American Hydrotech, Inc., a recognized leader in the development, production, and distribution of premium waterproofing and roofing products.

Fellowships for graduate students

  • Richard H. Brown Endowed Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering - A306262
    Graduate / Masters Major in Department(s): Mechanical Engineering
  • Jesse M. Campbell Endowed Memorial Scholarship/Fellowship in Engineering - A30613
    Preference given to student(s) who have demonstrated an interest in the power industry or energy technology through out-of-classroom learning opportunities. Recipients(s) shall be full-time undergraduate or graduate student(s), including incoming and transfer students.
  • Joseph M. and Suzanne H. Colucci Endowed Graduate Fellowship - A30622
    Recipients shall be full-time graduate students who are pursuing an advanced degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on energy. Preference shall be given to students who have a demonstrated interest in an area related to the generation of fuels or conversion of energy for use in an automotive system.
  • Dr. Pandeli Durbetaki Endowed Graduate Research Fellowship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering for the Field of Thermal Sciences - A30623
    The Dr. Durbetaki Research Fellowship shall be awarded to one or more graduate students who are starting or continuing their study at the doctoral level in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and majoring in the field of thermal sciences. This Fellowship may be awarded outright or as a supplement to another Fellowship awarded to a doctoral student. Fellowship recipients may receive the award more than once, provided they qualify and merit the award.
  • John F. and Jacqueline K. Foss Endowment for Experimental Fluid Dynamics - A30625
    The fund is intended to provide unrestricted discretionary financial support for the Experimental Fluid Mechanics Research Program. The Fund may be used to support any number of initiatives within the Program. This includes but is not limited to graduate fellowships, professional travel stipends, conference fees, seminars, research and/or salary support, journal and book purchases, academic initiatives, student programs, etc.
  • ME Design/Manufacturing Graduate Student Fellowship - A30616
    The income will be used to support the recruitment and funding of new graduate students entering the Mechanical Engineering Department with an emphasis on design/manufacturing. The primary focus will be on students who wish to pursue their Ph.D. at MSU in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Selection Criteria: The primacy focus will be on students who wish to pursue their Ph.D. at MSU in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Fellowship Endowment - A30615
    The income will be used to support the recruitment and funding of new graduate students entering the Mechanical Engineering Department, with a primary emphasis on outstanding students who wish to pursue their Ph.D. at MSU in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • MGA Research Corporation Endowed Fellowship in the College of Engineering - A30629
    Preference will be given to Ph.D. students working on research projects that support technology to protect people from harm or injury.
  • John R. and Carrie I. Wales Endowed Scholarship/Fellowship - A30619
    The donors wish to establish an endowed scholarship/fellowship fund, which will provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate mechanical engineering students at Michigan State University. Selection Criteria: Recipients shall be full-time undergraduate or graduate students within the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering of the College of Engineering at MSU. Recipients must be in good academic standing within the college and university. Recipients must demonstrate financial need. Recipients must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

To learn more about giving to the MSU Department of Mechanical Engineering, please contact Mike Wallace, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at (517) 355-8339,

Learn about ways to give

  • MSU Baja Racing Team - A306268
    Contributions to this fund help support the vibrant activities of the off-road vehicle design, building, and racing of the BAJA vehicles.
  • MSU Formula Racing Team - A306269
    Formula SAE promotes innovation and education by challenging students to fund, design, manufacture and race small, open-wheel racecars.
  • ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineering (student group) - A306273
    ASME at Michigan State is committed to providing students and faculty with a connection to the engineering profession outside of the classroom.

ME481 “The Capstone design Experience,” provides the educational capstone for all students majoring in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University. Teams of students design prototype solutions for real world problems. If you have a challenging problem and an interest in working with our ME students, please join us as a sponsor of a ME Senior Capstone Design Project.

During the Capstone Experience, student teams:

  • Design solutions for real, industrial-sponsored projects that draw on their technical expertise, communication skills and creativity.
  • Establish design requirements through dialogue with the project sponsor.
  • Identify multiple possible design approaches and select a preferred design through systematic evaluation of design alternatives.
  • Build prototypes of their designs and test their prototypes against the requirements established with the industrial sponsor.
  • Work with a faculty advisor who monitors the team’s progress and evaluates their results.
  • Benefit greatly from the opportunity to work on real industrial projects.
  • Present, showcase, and demonstrate their projects at the semi-annual Design Day event:

Every semester, our partners also sponsor a limited number of humanitarian and educational projects.

Real problems presented by real customers with real needs strengthen the connection of Michigan State University Mechanical Engineering students with their community and their profession.

Capstone Project Characteristics

Capstone projects come from a wide variety of industries and can address a wide range of industrial challenges such as creation of new products to improved manufacturing methods.

See recent projects

We seek open ended projects which include the following elements:

  • Innovation - Projects must require creativity. Students should be free to explore many ideas and should have access to company bench marking data, customer surveys, and previous products.
  • Prototype Fabrication - Projects should permit students to design, build, and evaluate a prototype.
  • Conventional Methods - Projects should require the application of fundamental engineering skills rather than familiarity with specialized technologies or exotic software packages

ME 481 Capstone Project Sponsorship


Sponsor Benefits

Capstone design project sponsorship provides an opportunity to build your company’s presence on the MSU campus, increase your contact with Mechanical Engineering students and contribute to outstanding education for our next generation of engineers. Project Sponsors receive recognition in the Design Day project booklet and on the Design Day project displays. While many companies participate because of the opportunity to showcase their company to MSU engineering students, and the potential for creative idea generation, many projects lead to cost-effective design solutions through the infusion of fresh ideas.

Sponsor Contribution

The sponsorship fee is only $5,000 per project. In addition to financial support the sponsor selects a staff engineer to be the team advisor. The team advisor will interact regularly via on/off site meetings, mentorship, and feedback. The team advisor is also asked to attend Design Day at the end of the semester to hear the student’s final presentation.

Proprietary Information

Students deliver public presentation. If project involves proprietary information or issues of intellectual property rights, then students can sign confidentiality and IP agreements with the project sponsor.

Contact Jim Lang for more information and a short sponsor application form. Project sponsorship is on a first come basis and sponsor applications are due in Mid-August for Fall projects and mid-December for Spring semester projects.

Jim Lang
Industrial Liaison for Design Projects and ME481 Senior Capstone Projects Coordinator
428 S. Shaw, Rm 2555 Engineering Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (810) 224-0055

Design Consortium

Involving students at the freshman level through senior year in industry sponsored projects. Contact Dr. William Resh  at for details