China is considered the manufacturing center and the largest consumer market for the world economy. Gaining a deep understanding of this country by conducting a Major Qualifying Project in China is an effective way for WPI students to acquire and practice their global competency. Moreover, to experience working with professionals from different backgrounds in a diverse cultural environment, the China Project Center in Beijing offers real-world project experiences for students to simultaneously practice their technical skills, apply their innovative ideas, develop their interpersonal abilities, and cultivate their entrepreneurial spirit in a global and innovative world. In particular, the Center expects to accept 20 or so WPI students each year to work in teams with about 30 students from our partnering university in China: Beijing University of Chemical Technology (BUCT). Beijing is a modern, industrialized metropolitan, with rich cultural heritage and easy access to other major cities by train or airplane.
Students live on BUCT campus and may travel to other cities based on their project sponsor locations and project requirements. Projects are completed within 7-8 weeks.
WPI students work with Chinese students in mixed teams under the guidance of co-advisors from both WPI and BUCT. Projects involving real-world problems are sponsored by global companies with operations in China in the areas of materials science, mechanical design, environmental management, supplier chain, operations and logistics analysis, and lean principle implementations.
Mechanical Design – Designed a new access system for the oil filter on a mid-sized Caterpillar loader by gathering design criteria from Caterpillar, complying with ISO specifications, conducting cost analysis, and incorporating human factors.
Urban planning and the environment - Investigating the feasibility of car-sharing service in second-tier cities in China by analyzing consumer behavior, market analysis, technology support, financial investment, and environmental impact.
Manufacturing technology - Created a concept for a high force grinder fixture for the Saint-Gobain China Grinding and Technology Center in Shanghai.
Global supply chain - Developed measurements and implementation methods for evaluating the third-party logistics company’s performance in managing the vendors, inventory, and carriers for a global retailer’s China export distribution center.