Worthington, Ohio-based, Fortune 500 steel and manufacturing company, Worthington Industries recently engaged students from Cedarville University’s industrial design program with a quick- turnaround, real-world design challenge to completely re-imagine a packing solution for one of its largest divisions. Cedarville’s industrial design program is held at the International Center for Creativity in Powell, Ohio.
With only a three-day turnaround, the students were asked to deliver consumer research, a variety of viable concepts, digital and analog sketches. and some low-fidelity (foam core) visual prototypes of their proposed solutions. Because the project included proprietary company practices and information, the students also learned about working under non-disclosure agreements, which is common practice for the innovation industry.
“The Junior Class at the ICC brought divergent thinking, particular thoughtfulness and enormous energy to the project,” said Shellee Simmons-Taylor, innovation strategist at Worthington Industries. “They embraced the ambiguity and materialized their visions in just a few days.”
“Worthington Industries is a fantastic corporate citizen here in central Ohio and around the world, and their commitment to invest in the education of tomorrow’s innovators is really a model of how these types of partnerships should work,” said Jim Stevenson, president of ICC. “They were extremely generous with the time and talent that they dedicated to working with the ICC junior class, and we are immensely appreciative.”
“Worthington Industries gave us an opportunity to experience a real work environment,” said Rose Thompson, junior industrial design major. “We were presented with a problem and asked to find a possible solution. The engineers, creative innovators and design experts from Worthington asked questions and gave us feedback on our project presentation. This was a valuable and educational real-world experience.”
“Working with Worthington was a fantastic opportunity to get real world experience in a condensed format,” said Jen Yosinski, junior industrial design major. “The ICC students got to solve real world problems in a four- day scramble, and then present at a company who took the time to teach us about their business. All of our contacts there were extraordinarily helpful in answering questions and giving us design, engineering, and presentation feedback. This feedback is so very important to us, because it tells us if we are heading in the right direction with our problem solving skills. I am a better designer because of it.”
“The team at Worthington Industries thoroughly enjoyed our experience working with the ICC students,” said Katie Heitman, fellow innovation strategist at Worthington. “The students quickly immersed themselves in the task at hand with creativity and enthusiasm. In just a few short days, the students helped Worthington envision what business opportunities may exist in the future as well as potential solutions to meet today’s needs. Overall, the students went above and beyond expectations, and helped stretch the realm of possibilities for the future.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.