Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Community service agencies face a future in which they must take advantage of technology to improve, coordinate, account for, and deliver the services they provide. They need the help of people with strong technical backgrounds. Undergraduate students face a future in which they will need more than solid expertise in their discipline to succeed. They will be expected to work with people of many different backgrounds to identify and achieve goals. They need educational experiences that can help them broaden their skills.

The challenge is to bring these two groups together in a mutually beneficial way. In response to this challenge, Purdue University created EPICS: Engineering Projects In Community Service. The end result? Benefits to the students and to the community!

EPICS was founded at Purdue in 2005 and introduced at Princeton University in Fall 2006 by co-founder Professor Ed Coyle *82.  EPICS is a unique program in which teams of undergraduates are designing, building, and deploying real systems to solve engineering-based problems for local community service and education organizations.  At Princeton, the Keller Center partners with Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) to provide students with this hands-on multi-disciplinary learning experience.

Students enrolling in EPICS earn course credit while using their expertise to make a difference in the community.  At the beginning of the semester, students choose one of the three existing projects and teams meet and work on that project throughout the academic year. All students taking the course for the first time should enroll in 250 and next semester to take 251. After completion of 251 students enroll into 350 and 351, and after completion of 351 into 450 and 451. In order to receive full credit for the course, students must enroll in the 2-course sequence, e.g., EGR 250 and EGR 251. Please note that EGR 251 is P/D/F only, but EGR 351 and 451 are fully graded. For questions about registration, please contact Keller Center Academic Affairs Manager Victoria Dorman at


Visit the EPICS team pages to learn more about current and ongoing projects.