Posts for Engineering Division

When our Logo was an Acorn

Flashback to fall 2006, where what would become the Research and Business Development Center (RBDC) was the Eastern Idaho Entrepreneurial Center (EIEC), which would later be coined the E  Center. We had 7 interns, no previous projects, and a mission to improve the economy in Eastern Idaho.

Our logo also had an acorn then that symbolized our large aspirations. One day this little acorn that would become a giant oak tree, just like our small center would grow.

three logos

Original E Center logo  (2006)                                   E Center logo  (2010)                                     RBDC logo (2015)


Flash forward almost ten years and numerous changes have occurred. Names have changed, programs have been added and expertise have been expanded. As of today the RBDC has completed over 700 projects for 300+ clients with the help of over 500 interns. These research and business development projects have help owners grow their ideas into sustainable profitable businesses, such as Gorgeous Garage and Kate’s Real Food.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 11.15.55 AM

Learn more about Gorgeous Garage here.


Check out Kate's here

Check out Kate’s here


In November we hosted the Entrepreneurs’ Platform, a tri-annual event that provides a setting for promising entrepreneurs, business owners, and mentors a setting to make connections and link to needed resources.

Every time I help with this event I can’t help but think about our little center almost 10 years ago and the many changes that we have went through. This leads me to look forward to the adventure that lies ahead for our promising entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurs’ Platform was held November 17th 2015 at the Eastern Idaho Technical College. To learn more about the Platform and future events contact us at


Faculty Profile: Scott Thomson, PhD

Professor Thomson is teacher/scholar of mechanical engineering at Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-I). His research specialty is the fabrication of artificial vocal cords and related anatomy. When he decided to take a faculty position at BYU-Idaho, he needed a way to keep his federally sponsored research moving forward that he started previously at a research university.

Due to the affiliation between BYU-Idaho and the Research and Business Development Center (RBDC), the RBDC is able to enter into agreements with external sponsors in collaboration with BYU-Idaho faculty and staff. RBDC then serves as the fiscal and administrative agent for sponsored research and other externally funded projects. Professor Thomson has been able to maintain the grants and now has the opportunity to mentor BYU-Idaho students in his expertise.

Battery Capstone Project

Excerpt from December 18, 2013 Poster Register, by Nate Sunderland

Seven BYU-I students worked with Idaho National Engineering Laboratory to help develop a

system to test the health and life span of individual battery cells within a complex device or

machine without interrupting what the battery was doing. Each of the students were tasked with

developing a portion of the device’s circuitry. They put in more than 1,120 hours combined on the

project… doing research, selecting parts and building the various components.

“It was cool to work with the INL and be part of this measurement system”, senior Derek Nelson said. “At first, I had a hard time understanding the concept…then I got it – so it was a great opportunity to learn.”

SAE Aero Design West | 2015

The Research and Business Development Center (RBDC) collaborated with a team of BYU-I physics and engineering students that competed in the Society of Automotive Engineers, Aero Design West competition. The student led team designed, tested and built a radio control airplane.  The objective was to fly with the most payload, additional weight.  There were 41 entries, with teams from all over the US as well as international teams includding: Canada, China, Egypt, India, Japan and Mexico. The plane flew two flights carrying 10 lbs and then 15 lbs on the second fight. The plane carried the 8th heaviest payload at the competition.


It was a great experience for the students to take their plane to a competition like this, make new friends on other teams, interact with the judges, and generally have their eyes opened to a new world. After the event, one of the judges commented on how impressed he was with the plane, and the student’s abilities.