June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
13.286.1 - 13.286.24
Championing High-Tech Renaissance: Sensor and Controller System Integration Course
With rapidly advancing and evolving technologies, the primary challenges in engineering product development have shifted from creating well defined components to producing complex, interdependent systems. Innovating and adapting to this new, complex environment is critical to surviving in the global economy. The challenge is to generate “good” ideas and rapidly convert them to viable commercial products. In the product development process, proof-of-concept systems are built to determine the feasibility of products or processes. It is essential for today’s engineers and scientists to understand systems engineering principles and have the knowledge and experience in integrating systems to test the efficacy of their ideas. To this end, we have developed the Sensor and Controller System Integration course that enables students to rapidly metamorphose their ideas to proof-of-concept systems for high-tech applications using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components. This paper presents the course philosophy, curriculum, instructional strategy, preliminary assessment results and the teaching tools employed to enhance the students’ entrepreneurial experience.
Frans Johansson, in his book The Medici Effect1 recounts the story of the Medicis, a banking family in Florence who were patrons in a wide range of disciplines. Due to the Medicis and a few other like-minded families, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects from all over Europe and as far as China converged upon the city of Florence. There they found each other, learned from one another, and broke down the barriers between their disciplines and cultures. Together they formed a new world based on new ideas—what became known as the Rinascimento or the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicenter of a creative explosion and one of the most innovative eras in history followed. Johansson calls this phenomenon the “Medici Effect.”
The maximum probability of groundbreaking and revolutionary advances is at the convergence of concepts, disciplines, countries, and cultures and is accelerated by modern computational power, communication infrastructure, and easy access to information for everyone. Can we recreate the scenarios that preceded and propelled the Renaissance in our quest for promoting entrepreneurship education? Using modern technology, can we bring together wildly different ideas from various disciplines and rapidly explore the potential of the resulting numerous unique concept combinations to become radical innovations? Are we on the verge of a new high-tech renaissance?
With advancing and evolving technologies, the primary challenges in engineering product development have shifted from creating well defined components to producing complex, interdependent systems. Innovating and adapting to this new, complex environment is critical to surviving in the global economy. Successful organizations, including universities, indicate that the real source of power in a knowledge-based economy is in combining technical prowess with
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: © 2008 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