Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Design Clinic

Get a New Perspective on Engineering Design

It’s a clinic.

The Design Clinic at UC Davis brings together industry and students of the College of Engineering. It is modeled after legal and medical clinics in which students give advice on real-world problems.


MAE Student Nelson Dichter Welding
Credit: Cheng Saechao/UC Davis photo

Working Managers and Engineers —

Maybe you want a fresh look at a design or production issue. Or maybe you want to build a relationship with UC Davis to keep up to date on the latest technology. Or maybe you want to contribute to your profession by giving students a look at what you do. Here’s a chance to work with a team of final-year mechanical engineering students working under faculty guidance.

Students —

Maybe you’ve heard how important team and presentation skills will be once you graduate. If you are a mechanical engineering student, this design experience is part of your required curriculum. If you are in another program, contact the design clinic about possible participation for independent study.

Maybe you want to actually make (rather than study) engineering trade-offs given real constraints of practicality, cost, manufacturing processes, and quality. Or maybe you want to cap all you have learned with some real-world experience. Here’s a chance to learn about the design process, gain team and presentation skills, apply classroom knowledge to a real situation, see potential employers up-close, and provide service to our industrial community.

What’s a project?

A company brings a problem to the Clinic, and a team of four to five final-year students work on it for two quarters. While working on the project, students attend lectures, meet weekly with a faculty member to discuss their progress, and have access to extensive laboratory, computer, design studio, and prototype facilities.

For example, recent projects include: a thrust vector control system for rockets, a rescue helicopter winch system, a design for a hybrid vehicle, an elevator position system, a hostage situation vehicle, a CD jukebox, a pavement crack sealer, a bottle measurer, and a torque tester.

Proprietary Projects

Due to the pedagogical nature of the Design Clinic, projects containing proprietary information are not appropriate. Students have multiple design reviews in an open setting with other design teams. Contact the Design Clinic staff for more information.


The Design Clinic is hosted by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at U.C. Davis. Lectures on design and team mentoring are provided by members of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty.

Copying one person is stealing. Copying ten is research.

— Chet Atkins

Questions or comments to Jason Moore at or MAE Design Clinic Web Response.