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A Course In Business Fundamentals For Engineers

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship Education for Engineers

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.35.1 - 7.35.10



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Paper Authors

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Ofodike Ezekoye

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John Doggett

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J. Nolen

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John Butler

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Steven Nichols

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 3454

Development of Business Skills in Engineering Students through Collaborative Engineering-Business School Activities

O.A. Ezekoye, T.S. Patil and S. Nichols Department of Mechanical Engineering

J.S. Butler, J. Nolen, J. Doggett Red McCombs School of Business The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX

Abstract Most engineering graduates pursue positions in existing businesses. Generally, for an individual to advance in a business firm, it is required that he/she focus on the central purpose of the firm; this most often is maximizing shareholder equity. As has been widely quoted, the business of business is business. Leaders of technology-based firms should have technical competence and business savvy. There have been notable cases of engineers who have risen to the top of major corporations. In recent history, Jack Welch, Andy Grove and Lou Gerstner are widely known as engineers who have leveraged their technical capabilities while also clearly succeeding in business. There are unfortunately many more counterexamples of engineers who have entered corporations with strong technical capabilities and interest in promotion within the corporation, but who have failed to advance as a result of shortcomings in their business skills and sophistication. This paper describes an ongoing collaborative effort between the Colleges of Engineering and Business at the University of Texas at Austin to create a business short-course for engineering students to familiarize them with business concepts. The objective is not to teach the students all they will ever need to know about business, but instead to teach them the importance of understanding the business implications of technology transfer in commercial ventures. To accomplish these goals in a two week short-course, the faculty members involved are packaging a set of electronic business tutorials of relevance to engineering students. The two week short course culminates in a simulation where the students start a business and run it over several years with the objective of maximizing shareholder equity. The details of implementing this collaborative program are provided in this manuscript.

Introduction The evolution of a collaborative project between the Colleges of Engineering and Business at the University of Texas at Austin with a goal of creating a business skills short course for engineering students is discussed in this manuscript. The project is one piece of a larger project formulated within the mechanical engineering department at the University of Texas on implementing project based learning into the curriculum. One of the tenets of project - based learning is the direct application of engineering ideas and concepts to practical problems. It became evident in the development of the project based curriculum that one aspect of project based learning that is not typically addressed in engineering curricula is the integration of Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Ezekoye, O., & Doggett, J., & Nolen, J., & Butler, J., & Nichols, S. (2002, June), A Course In Business Fundamentals For Engineers Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10148

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