College of Science & Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can AMSEC help my company?

  • We work with companies on materials analysis, research and development activities that can help introduce new or improved materials into your products. We can also help you adopt cleaner or more efficient materials technologies and solve technical challenges related to materials selection and usage.

    For each project, AMSEC draws upon its faculty and student researchers that consists of experts in a range of areas: polymers and composites; nano-, geo-, and electronic materials; analytical chemistry; and many other sub-disciplines of materials science and engineering. Projects can range from materials analysis, to assessment of materials selection and compatibility, to long term R&D partnerships.

    In general we do not perform routine quality control testing or production monitoring, perform measurements for purposes of regulatory compliance, or duplicate services already available from commercial providers in our region.

How are projects selected?

  • AMSEC works with many different companies, but we are not able to accommodate all projects. We aim to create meaningful student involvement with the potential for significant scientific or engineering developments. Projects should provide valuable experiences to undergraduate and graduate students and help them improve their technical and professional skills

How much will my project cost?

  • Project assistance is provided as a non-profit service to industry through the AMSEC’s mission to help promote private sector innovation. Fees are based instrumentation use, personnel time, and any consumables or supplies used in the work. Most projects cost between $500 and $5,000.

How long will it take to complete my project?

  • Completion times range from a week or two for relatively routine measurements, to a year or longer for some complex R&D projects.

What if my project involves proprietary information and/or samples?

  • AMSEC is accustomed to dealing with proprietary samples for materials testing purposes and offers standardized non-disclosure and sample transfer agreements to protect commercial.

What if a patentable invention is made in the course of my project?

  • AMSEC’s intellectual property policy is similar to that at most other universities: inventions made solely by your company are owned by your company, inventions made solely by WWU personnel are owned by WWU, and inventions made jointly are jointly owned. The complete policy is available on WWU's Policies & Procedures website (https://policy.wwu.edu/policies-by-subject/research). It is very uncommon for patentable inventions to result from these projects. It would be rare for this issue to come up at all.

How are projects managed?

  • Project are led by an AMSEC faculty member who supervises students and staff, directs the project, and ensures the quality and timeliness of outcomes. Multidisciplinary projects requiring knowledge and expertise in more than one area are conducted by teams of faculty and students that can be drawn from several academic departments. Once your project is selected, AMSEC handles the details of project management and participant selection for you. Every project includes a final report and may include interim reports or meetings, depending on scope and duration.

Can staff from my company use AMSEC equipment themselves?

  • In some cases – yes. Please contact AMSEC to discuss this further.

What companies and institutions has AMSEC recently partnered with?

  • Partnerships in the last few years have been made with BRER Technical, Cascade Dafo, IDEX Health & Science LLC, Janicki, PACCAR, Samson Rope, and TOKU-E Company.