Illinois Tech offers students some unique opportunities to apply their learning outside of the classroom through Interprofessional Project (IPRO) courses. What makes IPROs distinct is that they are made up of interdisciplinary teams of students who work together to solve a business or social problem and present their solution(s) to working industry professionals. Industrial Technology and Management (INTM) faculty lead a number of IPROs, drawing from their experience working in industry.
INTM Adjunct Professor, Dr. Dan Tomal, has facilitated a longstanding IPRO, Developing Insights that Support Energy Efficiency Improvement Strategies for Varied Built Environments, in which students conduct energy audits of a variety of Chicago area buildings. This IPRO draws students from IIT’s Industrial Technology and Management, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Architecture programs for the chance to learn about energy use and sustainability while working with professional electrical contractors, building engineers, and owners. This Spring, Dr. Tomal’s IPRO team completed an audit of Perspectives Math and Science Academy, a charter school in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. At the end of the course, the students presented school administrators with a viable set of cost-saving recommendations.
IPRO energy audits are of many ways that Illinois Tech students can gain exposure to the electrical contracting industry. Many of the students in IPRO 497 are active members of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) IIT Student Chapter, a student-led-campus organization that encourages students to work with local NECA member organizations to sponsor professional development activities. IIT is one of many NECA student chapters from all over the U.S. that present their student energy audits to professional judges in NECA’s annual Green Energy Challenge.
Nancy Hamill-Governale, also an INTM Adjunct Professor, created a new IPRO in 2016, Sustainable Home Design: Race to Zero Competition. Hamill-Governale is a Licensed Architect in the State of Illinois, and a Certified Energy Manager with the Association of Energy Engineers. She recently began teaching a course, Integrated Facilities Management for INTM. Her goal was to give students the opportunity to represent IIT in a National design competition for Universities, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The students designed and built a model of an actual “Net Zero” energy efficient building, and submitted their work for Three students from the IPRO represented IIT for the first time at the DOE’s Race to Zero Design Competition in Golden, Colorado in early April, along with Professor Hamill-Governale.
READ MORE about INTM Student Projects