The Cooperative Engineering Education Program (or the "co-op program" as it is generally known) is a program within the Swanson School of Engineering whereby the student engineer's educational experience is enhanced by a series of challenging, highly
relevant, "real world" work sessions. Rotating semesters at work with semesters at school does this. Typically, the first work rotation is after the end of the sophomore year or the first term of the junior year, and each work rotation lasts four
months. This is a popular and highly successful program: co-op salaries are excellent and the work experience gained is invaluable as well. More information can be found on the
co-op program's website.
Participating companies range from small to large, public to private, Pittsburgh-based to international. Participating co-op companies that hire IEs include: Connors Group, Curtiss-Wright EMD, FedEx, H. J. Heinz, Hershey, LMI, Mine Safety Appliances
(MSA), UPS, and Walt Disney Company.
During each co-op rotation the student must register for 1 credit of ENGR 1090. Students may substitute three co-op rotations for one of their technical electives. At the end of the co-op experience the student is required to turn in a written technical
report detailing the entire co-op experience. Completion of a minimum of three rotations and the report entitles three credits of ENGR 1090 to substitute for one technical elective. If a report is not turned in, the student will still get a grade
of S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) for ENGR 1090 - however it will not be possible to count this as a technical elective.
*Under Construction* Please note that the SSOE Co-op program is shifting to six month rotations and new IE Standard co-op schedules are being developed. These will be posted by the start of the Fall 2021 semester.
There are two basic schedule options for the cooperative engineering education program in IE. These are designated Co-op A and Co-op B. The student's date of entrance into the IE department determines which schedules are pertinent.
If you entered into the IE department after Fall 2019:
If you entered into the IE department after Fall 2017 and before Fall 2019:
The total length of time required is identical with either option, as is the anticipated graduation date. The only difference is that with Co-op A the first work rotation is in the fall term of the junior year, while with Co-op B it is in the spring
term of the junior year or, beginning earlier, the summer following the sophomore year.
As part of the requirements to earn credit for a technical elective for ENGR 1090, industrial engineering students are required to submit a co-op report. This report is expected to be a professional technical document similar to a report published in
a technical journal and contain no typographical or grammatical errors. At a minimum, it should contain the following:
1. Title Page: This should include a suitable title for the report, the name of the student, the name of the company where the co-op experience took place, the name of the industry supervisor(s) and the dates of the rotations.
2. Table of Contents
3. Abstract: An executive summary of the entire paper.
4. Introduction: This section should provide an overview of the company, including a description of its product line, the processes used and the industrial engineering functions. It should also describe the co-op student's position within
the company and an overview of the tasks assigned and completed.
5. Description of Activities: This section should provide a detailed description of all projects and assignments carried out at the company during the course of each of the work rotations undertaken by the student. The activities should be
arranged chronologically. The write-up must clearly bring out the relationships between the assignments carried out and the student's coursework and academic program at Pitt. Note: the description should specifically discuss any projects/activities
that were completed within multi-disciplinary teams. Describe your role and the challenges you faced in working across disciplines.
6. Conclusions: This final section should summarize the impact of the student's work assignments both on the company as well as on the student. It should also integrate the various assignments that a student typically undertakes and discuss
their relevance to the "big picture" from an industrial engineering perspective.
7. References & Appendices (if applicable)
To get a clearer picture on what a technical paper entails, it is suggested that the student refer to the Styles Manual published by various technical societies, take a look at some of the journals in the engineering library, or review the co-op reports
written by other industrial engineering students (available from the department co-op advisor). There is no maximum or minimum length restriction. However, a typical paper is about 15-20 pages long.
DEADLINES: The report must be turned into the departmental co-op advisor in the term in which the student plans to graduate (a specific date will be provided at the beginning of each fall and spring semester).