Industrial and Professional Advisory Council

The College looks to its Industrial and Professional Advisory Council (IPAC) to act as a link between the College and its industrial and professional partners. This select group of industry, government, and academic representatives advise the College on academic issues and on current trends and future directions in engineering. The College uses the ideas generated and the recommendations made during these forums to identify actions the College should take to continuously improve our educational and research programs and to take on global engineering grand challenges.

For more information on the College of Engineering IPAC, College of Engineering Alumni Relations Office at

IPAC Duties

The Industrial and Professional Advisory Council (IPAC) is a select group of representatives from industry, government agencies, academia, and the profession who advise the College of Engineering on academic issues and on current trends and future directions in engineering. IPAC is a forum where ideas are exchanged and recommendations are made. IPAC provides direct linkage and communication between the College and the engineering profession.


The Industrial and Professional Advisory Council is expected to:

  • Act as an advisory group to each department, as well as to the College, on specific academic and research issues.
  • Act as a link between the College and its industrial and professional partners, providing an opportunity for communication of current and future industry and professional needs to the College.
  • Identify actions that the College should take to meet special College-wide or departmental needs.
  • Provide recommendations on initiatives that the College should undertake to continuously improve educational and research programs to meet the needs of the world and the profession.


  • Department Councils: Each College department has an Industrial and Professional Advisory Council consisting of individuals from industry, professional practice, and government, and up to two members from academia. Each departmental IPAC shall have a chair and vice chair elected from the department council. The term of office for chairpersons and vice-chairpersons is one year (or until the next annual meeting). The vice chair becomes the chair.
  • Executive Committee: The chairpersons of each IPAC constitute an Executive Committee to advise the Dean's Office on general college issues. This body is governed by a chair and vice chair elected from its own ranks. In normal succession, the vice chair usually advances to become the chair. All chairs and vice-chairs are elected for a one three-day session (or until the next annual meeting) and are expected to be present at the opening and closing executive sessions.


Departmental IPAC members are selected by the department head; each selection is subject to the review by the dean. Membership on IPAC is for one three-year term. Each member may not serve more than two consecutive terms (maximum of six years) unless additional time is needed to fulfill commitments as chair or vice chair of the Executive Committee.

Membership Responsibilities

Each IPAC member is expected to

  • Attend the annual meeting and any departmental meetings scheduled during the year by the department head. IPAC members are selected for their individual merit and expertise, not as organizational representatives. For this reason, and to help assure continuity, only members (not substitutes) are invited to attend.
  • Become familiar with the operations and programs of the department and the College.
  • Contribute to the identification of important issues and assist in the formulation of recommendations to help the department and the College in continuously improving academic and research programs.


The full IPAC meets once annually, beginning with an opening Executive Committee session. All members are requested to be present when a College-wide program is scheduled. One full day is devoted to departmental issues.

It is expected in the departmental meetings that IPAC members will have an opportunity to meet with undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty to hold discussion concerning any issues that may be relevant to the department's progress and to identify significant opportunities and/or barriers to the department's progress. As a result of these meetings and other discussions held with the department leadership, a report will be prepared by the departmental IPAC committee, which will be shared with the department head and subsequently presented to the IPAC Executive Committee at the closing Executive Committee Session. The opening Executive Committee Session is expected to be attended by IPAC chairs, vice-chairs, department heads, and engineering deans. Only IPAC chairs and the Dean of the College attend the closing session, unless other College personnel are invited.

As part of the College and departmental reports to IPAC, the status of recommendations and findings resulting from previous IPAC meetings will be discussed. It is also expected that periodically throughout the year, the department will communicate with its IPAC members concerning department developments and activities.

Departmental IPACs