MSU Engineering Students Get Real-World Experience with the Help of McLaren’s New Hospital Project

MSU engineering students
Posted at 10:06 AM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 10:06:40-04

LANSING, Mich. — It’s not every day that there is an opportunity to redesign health care for an entire community from the ground up, but that’s exactly what some Michigan State University students are getting a taste of thanks to McLaren Greater Lansing’s new hospital project.

More than 70 civil and environmental engineering students at MSU are getting real-world experience as they dig through the details of the plans for the new $450 million hospital for their senior capstone project.

It all started when Michigan State University instructor Anthony Ingle, PE, reached out to McLaren Greater Lansing’s design and construction team to ask for information he could use to base his students’ senior project on. “As soon as I found out about the hospital project, I was pursuing it full-fledged because this is really exciting to me,” said Ingle. “This project demonstrates building relationships with McLaren and Michigan State University, so I thought that was a great opportunity.”

Students are working in teams to take on specific aspects of the intricate infrastructure that goes into a project of this size and scope. “We’re trying to essentially design the infrastructure,” said Ingle. “There are many different disciplines like hydrology, stormwater runoff, detention basins, structures and framing of a building, geotechnical support, and traffic engineering.”

To make the project as realistic as possible, Ingle needed to get ahold of a large amount of very accurate data about the new hospital and its surroundings. McLaren Greater Lansing’s design team was more than willing to help. “We’re happy to be able to give students somewhere to apply their learning,” said Austin Holcomb, Director of Facilities for McLaren Greater Lansing. “It gives them an opportunity to see where their passion is.”

“I’m really grateful to the design team for volunteering their time to meet with me and the students, and the information they were able to share,” said Ingle. “It takes a lot of information to make a realistic project. You can’t just invent things like existing conditions for soil borings or geotechnical reports.”

Working on analyzing McLaren Greater Lansing’s new hospital project as their capstone brings a new level of realism for the students as they finish their degrees. “A lot of our undergraduate work has been crunching numbers and doing problems on paper,” said environmental engineering student Rachel Zywiczynski. “I’m going to remember this because it’s our first chance to act as project managers and it encompasses everything we’ve learned.”

“My biggest ambition is to always have something that’s realistic for students to work on,” said Ingle. “It makes their work more meaningful because they can actually drive past the site and see things that are happening. After they graduate they can come back and tell people, ‘I worked on that job when I was a student.’”

McLaren Greater Lansing and MSU are continuing to explore new and innovative ways to partner on the delivery of care, the education of future health care professionals, and clinical research programs.