Education mission

SPRL is a unique asset within one of the top-tier engineering colleges in the nation. The presence of SPRL within the CoE and the high-level engineering talent that is ongoing in SPRL provide an ideal opportunity to expose undergraduate and graduate students to real-world engineering and systems integration. Very few similar organizations exist in the United States and even fewer are well situated to provide students access to ongoing projects covering a wide variety of disciplines. Students with real-world engineering experience are highly sought after by industry and will carry their expertise—and Wolverine Spirit—across the country and beyond.

CoE has clear goals for its students: “innovative, hands-on learning opportunities, with an emphasis on creativity and discovery.” This outlook is integral to recent initiatives, such as The Michigan Space Institute, Integrative Systems + Design, Center For Entrepreneurship, Wilson Student Team Project Center and the Multidisciplinary Design Program, that highlight the need for students to have both deep technical skills in their disciplines as well as broader systems thinking skills. SPRL is ideally situated to aid in these initiatives in that these skills are exactly those showcased every day by engineers working in SPRL. The ongoing emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning is directly in line with the educational opportunities available in SPRL.

We offer engineering and technical expertise with integrative, real-world, hands-on experience. In partnership with U-M programs, we help create world-class engineering experiences for the next generation of engineers. In particular, we work with:

For faculty

XTRM Labs offers a variety of teaching modules that can be done in your classroom or on site at XTRM Labs. We can also help with proposal writing that includes funded student activities.

Popular engineering tutorials include:

  • Thermal Design and Testing for Spacecraft
  • Environmental test
  • Program management
  • Systems engineering
  • Requirements management
  • Power system development

We also offer skill development through hands-on training in:

  • Soldering
  • Staking and coating
  • Electrostatic discharge precautions
  • Vibe testing and thermal-vacuum testing

For more information, please contact Jon Van Noord,, (734) 936-0518.

For students

XTRM Labs serves students in a variety of ways. Our student project support includes:

  • Mentoring
    • Systems engineering
    • Project management
    • Electrical engineering
    • Mechanical and thermal engineering
    • Systems integration and testing
    • Flight software
    • RF engineering
  • Design review
  • Skills training (e.g., soldering, staking and coating, environmental testing)
  • Test facility use
    • Vibration tables
    • Thermal vacuum chambers
    • Vacuum bakeout chambers
    • Thermal ovens
  • Internships
  • Assistance with fabrication

For more information, please contact Jon Van Noord,, (734) 936-0518