Asee peer logo

Assessing the Entrepreneurial Mindset within Engineering Programs

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Research and Assessment

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.244.1 - 22.244.14



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Cynthia C. Fry Baylor University

visit author page

Sr. Lecturer of Computer Science, Assistant Dean of the School of Engineering & Computer Science

visit author page


David Pistrui Acumen Dynamics, LLC

visit author page

David Pistrui, Ph.D., serves as the Managing Director of Acumen Dynamics, LLC, a strategy-based education, training, and research firm that focuses on practical knowledge and skills that help organizations align vision and strategy with execution and performance. Working as an independent scholar, thought leader and advisor to corporations, family foundations, academic institutions, government agencies and global think tanks Dr. Pistrui’s activities include strategy development, business succession, assessment modeling, technology transfer, executive education and social science research. This includes programs and activities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Dr. Pistrui has held several scholarly appointments in the US and Europe, including the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He served as the founding Managing Director of the Wharton Enterprising Families Initiative at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Dr. Pistrui held the Raymond Chair in Family Business and served as the Founding Director of the Center for Family Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership at Alfred University.

Dr. Pistrui is an active researcher focusing on the growth and societal impact of entrepreneurship, family business, and enterprise development. He is the co-author of groundbreaking work including Growth Intentions and Expansion Plans of New Entrepreneurs in the Former Soviet Bloc, (Ashgate, 1997), Family and cultural forces shaping entrepreneurship and SME development in China, (Elgar, 2006), New Venture Financing: An Empirical Investigation of Chinese Entrepreneurs, (Cambridge, 2009), and Family and Cultural Factors Impacting Entrepreneurship in War Time Lebanon, (Interscience, 2010).

Dr. Pistrui serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, and the Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship. He is also currently serving as a Special Issue Guest Editor of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management.

Dr. Pistrui is a member of the Kern Family Foundation’s Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network Advisory Board. In 2009 he was appointed as a Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna. He is also an honorary board member of the American Southeast Europe Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Pistrui served on the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and was Vice President, of the Family Firm Institute (Boston, MA, 1998 - 2001). He served as Program Chair for the Family Firm Institute 2000 Annual Conference (Washington, DC).

Dr. Pistrui appears frequently on TV and radio programs. He often provides commentary to business publications and has appeared in Crains’ Chicago Business, Family Business, MEED, CNN, CNBC INC. Magazine, Entrepreneur, Los Angeles Business Journal, Chicago Tribune, Bahrain Tribune, Alwasat, Gulf Business, Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Profil, Format, Der Standard, Die Presse, Wirtschaft Blatt, and Ekonmist and many other news and media outlets.

Dr. Pistrui holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration (Cum Laude) in Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Management from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, and a Ph.D., in Sociology from the University of Bucharest, Romania. He earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from DePaul University (Chicago) and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Economics from Western Michigan University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Assessing the Entrepreneurial Mindset Within Engineering ProgramsIn the last sixty years, engineering education has emphasized the theory deemed necessary to bea valuable and successful engineer. This shift, in the very dense engineering degree plans, hasprecluded, in many instances, the opportunity for creativity and hands-on innovation in theclassroom. One of the stated goals of the Summit Series on the Grand Challenges of theNational Academy of Engineering is to “enhance student interest in engineering, science, andtechnology entrepreneurship.” Of particular interest to engineering programs trying to integratethe entrepreneurial mindset – a combination of technical skills, business savvy, team buildingand team management, and high-integrity leadership – is how to assess the methods by which wemeasure our success in these programs. There is a great deal of literature describing the variousmethods used and their levels of success. In a network of twenty schools across the nation, acombination of three well-known and vetted assessments is being conducted in the hopes ofbeing able to determine the effectiveness of the assessment in measuring our abilities to teachand integrate the entrepreneurial mindset into our degree plans. This paper will document theselection of the assessment instrument, its deployment, and an initial analysis of the results inhow they impact retention, professional development, and the entrepreneurial mindset of thestudents at these institutions.

Fry, C. C., & Pistrui, D. (2011, June), Assessing the Entrepreneurial Mindset within Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17525

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015