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Assessment of Innovative Skill Development in Weekend Challenges

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Evaluating Student Behaviors and Attitudes

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.261.1 - 26.261.14



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Paper Authors


Magdalini Z Lagoudas Texas A&M University

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Magda Lagoudas, Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Texas A&M University. Mrs. Lagoudas holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering. She worked for the State of New York and industry before joining Texas A&M University in 1992. Since then, she developed and taught courses in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology. In 2001, she joined the Spacecraft Technology Center as an Assistant Director where she was responsible for the structural and thermal analysis of payloads. She served as Director of the Space Engineering Institute and in 2010 she accepted a position with the Academic Affairs office of the Dwight Look College of Engineering where she oversaw outreach, recruiting, retention and enrichment programs for the college. Since 2013, she serves as the Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships with responsibilities to increase opportunities for undergraduates engineering students to engage in experiential learning multidisciplinary team projects. These include promoting capstone design projects sponsored by industry, developing and teaching the Engineering Projects in Community Service course, and developing curricular and co-curricular programs at the Engineering Innovation Center which promote innovation and entrepreneurship among engineering students and in collaborations with other colleges on campus and partnering with other institutions across the country

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Rodney Boehm Engineering Academic and Student Affairs

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Rodney Boehm has joined the Engineering Academic and Student Affairs (EASA) team as an Industry Mentor with very broad experiences, including the creation of a telecommunications standard for the fiber optics industry that is still in use internationally over 25 years later, a wide variety of business experiences in an international company, and start up experience that have helped him hone his ability to quickly determine a direction and execute to it.

He is also formerly the Chief Operating Officer for GroundFORCE, a company that specializes in a unique patented construction technology. His extensive experience in running sales, marketing, manufacturing, and large multi-national organizations was applied to introducing this new technology to the construction industry.

Formerly he was a Senior Vice President of Fujitsu Network Communications, headquartered in Richardson, Texas. With over 30 years of experience in telecommunications, Rodney was responsible for developing partnerships with leading network technology providers and driving marketing efforts for optical, access and data products developed by Fujitsu. Along with Yau Chow Ching, Rodney conceived (and wrote the standards for), the SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) architecture, which served as the base for today's North American telephone network. Rodney was Chairman of the T1X1 Technical Sub-Committee (the organization responsible for SONET standardization) from 1990 through 1994. He has been active in SONET's National and International Standardization since 1985. In addition, Rodney has published numerous papers and presentations on SONET.

Rodney began his career with Fujitsu Network Communications in 1989 as the Director of Strategic Planning. He also held the positions of Director of Transport Product Planning, Vice President of Business Management, Senior Vice President of Sales Management, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, and Senior Vice President of Business Development. Before joining Fujitsu, Rodney worked for Bell Laboratories, Bellcore (now Telcordia), and Rockwell International. He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University.

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James L Wilson Texas A&M University - College of Engineering

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8 years USAF. 24 years experience in IT, Laboratory Management, Facilities Management and System Design. Received Bachelors from LeTourneau University in Education Technology. Masters from Texas A&M Commerce in Engineering Technology. Currently the Facility Manager of the Texas A&M Engineering Innovation Center.

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Assessment of Innovative Skill Development in Weekend ChallengesRecent reports have highlighted the need to promote development of innovative skills andentrepreneurial mindsets among undergraduate engineering students. Research data show thatboth curricular and co-curricular activities can play a significant role in the development of theseskills. Introducing new modules or updating the traditional curriculum to address innovation andentrepreneurial minds could be challenging due to the need to meet ABET requirements whilemaintaining the overall credit hour required for the degree. However, there is great flexibility indesigning co-curricular programs to promote these skills. The flexibility is associated both withthe type and duration of the activity but also with the unique opportunities offered for activeindustry engagement. Furthermore, since the participants of the co-curricular programs havemade the choice to participate in a non-required activity, their level of engagement is expected tobe of greater depth and thus the impact of the program is expected to be significant. The recentfocus on “maker” spaces across the country offers a unique opportunity for innovative co-curricular program which make use of such facilities. This paper will discuss an innovative 48-hour weekend challenge with focus on rapid development of hardware prototypes for needsidentified by industry and non-profit organizations. Engineering undergraduate and graduatestudents along with students from the medical school have participated in this program offered ata large public institution. The program goals are to offer students an opportunity to work onmultidisciplinary team projects and develop innovative solutions thru access to a unique makerspace facility, professional staff, and industry. Furthermore, student teams are encouraged topursue their innovation beyond the 48-hour event and explore its potential forcommercialization. The program has been met with huge success and this paper will describe theprogram development, implementation, and assessment. The assessment data include studentself- assessment, industry observations, and post-event student industry collaborations.

Lagoudas, M. Z., & Boehm, R., & Wilson, J. L. (2015, June), Assessment of Innovative Skill Development in Weekend Challenges Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23600

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