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The benefits of close collaboration with industry for undergraduate design students have been repeatedly emphasised in the literature. This paper describes the operation of a design competition as a collaborative project between the DIT School of Manufacturing and Design Engineering and an external company. Small groups of design students were set a design brief and guided through the year by company representatives and by their academic supervisors. Along with giving an example of problem-based learning and showing how academic projects can remain relevant to the commercial design field, this paper gives an example of what approaches can be taken to ensure that the industryinstitute collaboration proceeds smoothly and produces effective learning and results for all concerned.
O'Kane, C.: Bridging the Gap between Academics and Industry. Proceedings of INTED2010 Conference. Valencia, Spain. 8-10 March, 2010.