Masoud Sadjadi & Francisco Ortega
The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program aims to involve everyone on campus in innovation. VIP unites undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context. Undergraduate and Graduate VIP students earn academic credits, while faculty benefit from the design/discovery efforts of their teams. VIP extends the academic design experience beyond a single semester, with students participating for up to three years. It provides the time and context to learn and practice professional skills, to make substantial contributions, and experience different roles on large multidisciplinary design/discovery teams. The long-term nature of VIP creates an environment of mentor-ship, with faculty and graduate students mentoring teams, experienced students mentoring new members, and students moving into leadership roles as others graduate. VIP attracts students from many disciplines and enables the completion of large-scale design/discovery projects, strengthening and expanding faculty research portfolios.