INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program

INNOVATE Blue-Blanket-Team


Do you have an idea that could benefit society? Would you like to get paid this summer to transform your idea into a prototype?

INNOVATE: The L3Harris Summer Program provides undergraduate student teams the opportunity to develop innovative solutions to unmet societal or technical challenges.

INNOVATE is a partnership program Villanova University’s College of Engineering and L3Harris Technologies. Over the course of two-months, student teams complete a functional prototype—physical or digital—under the guidance of a faculty mentor. During this time, students gain valuable engineering and leadership experience as they bring their team’s design to life.  


RESOURCES…to build your vision.
Your team will have access to faculty experts and a $3,500 project budget to complete your prototype. Plus, each INNOVATE team member will receive a $3,500 stipend.

EXPERIENCE…to build your resume.
You and your teammates will manage all aspects of your project—from defining the problem through prototyping—and develop communications, leadership and hands-on engineering skills in the process. Any Intellectual Property resulting from your project belongs to your team and your team’s faculty mentor.

CONNECTIONS….to build your professional network.
Your team will deliver a final presentation to L3Harris representatives and participate in mock interviews, which have led to job offers for qualified candidates.  


  • Two-month virtual residency: June 1st – July 30th
  • Stipend: $3,500/per student (stipend is taxable)
  • Project budget of $3,500 per team
  • Access to faculty, labs and facilities


2021 Virtual Residency Format

Engineering innovation knows no bounds! Having demonstrated its success in a virtual format last summer, INNOVATE will again be conducted remotely in 2021.

We will leverage technology—Zoom, Google, etc.—to sustain strong communications and a sense of community, both within and across the four teams (and 16 students) in this summer’s program. As funding allows, we will find ways for students to construct prototypes by leveraging on-campus facilities, consumer grade machines (e.g., 3-D printer that can be shipped to a student’s home) and on-demand shipping. In short, though team members will be working remotely, we are committed to providing every student a meaningful engineering experience.

How to Apply

INNOVATE is open to all undergraduate engineering students and computer science majors. Students form their own four-person, multidisciplinary teams. In other words, teams must include members from two or more academic majors or disciplines. Teams are responsible for recruiting a Villanova faculty member to serve as their advisor. Finally, teams are required to submit an online pre-proposal and final proposal to apply to the program. A committee will review all pre and final proposals and select four teams to participate in INNOVATE.

To apply…
Step 1: Identify the humanitarian or technological problem you want to solve
Step 2: Form your team and recruit a faculty advisor
Step 3: Submit your pre-proposal by March 12, 2021
Step 4: Incorporate INNOVATE review committee feedback and submit your final proposal by March 26, 2021

Proposal Elements

Problem Statement: What humanitarian problem or technological need does your team seek to address? Why is it important to society to address this problem? (max 250 words)

State of the Art: Summarize existing solutions to this problem, if any. (max 150 words)

Proposed Design Solution: What technical solution/prototype does your team propose to design and build? (max 150 words)

Key Objectives: What are the key objectives or features of your prototype? (max 150 words)

Team Expertise: Summarize your team members’ areas of expertise. Why is your team qualified to undertake this project? (max 150 words)

Resource Requirements: What physical or digital resources will your team need to complete this project? (max 150 words)

For information regarding INNOVATE, contact Keith Argue, Assistant Dean for External Affairs and INNOVATE Director.


Members of the Snake Bot team show off their prototype.

2020 INNOVATE Teams Impress Audience during Final Presentations

Engineers’ resourcefulness was on display as teams in the INNOVATE L3Harris Summer Program adapted to a virtual environment. INNOVATE provides self-directed student teams with a two-month paid opportunity to develop innovative solutions to unmet societal or technical challenges. This year’s projects included Snake Bot, a Driving Simulator, Neuro Language Platform and Blue Blanket.

ME Makerspace: Spawning Creativity, Innovation and Racecars

ME Makerspace: Spawning Creativity, Innovation and Racecars

Villanova’s Formula SAE team, NovaRacing, has become an engaged member of Mechanical Engineering’s Makerspace community. Students are finding it to be an ideal setting in which to accomplish much of the early stages of the process, from 3D printing to laser cutting.

E2SI Wraps Up Successful—Albeit, Virtual—Summer Program

E2SI Wraps Up Successful—Albeit, Virtual—Summer Program

Like every other program scheduled on Villanova’s campus this summer, the Engineering Entrepreneurship Summer Institute was held virtually. The 23 students in the 2020 cohort seamlessly adapted, forming six interdisciplinary teams that developed products and services for young adults, parents with babies and young children, golfers, gamers and television binge watchers. The teams presented their concepts to a Zoom room of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and College of Engineering leadership and faculty who found the students’ work impressive.