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Collaborative Research: Identifying and Assessing Key Factors of Engineering Innovativeness

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

24.284.1 - 24.284.9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--20175

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/20175

Download Count

183

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Paper Authors

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Senay Purzer Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0784-6079

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Şenay Purzer an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. In 2011, she received a NSF CAREER award, which examines how engineering students approach innovation. She is also a NAE/CASEE New Faculty Fellow. Purzer conducts research on aspects of design education such as innovation and information literacy.

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Kathryn Jablokow Pennsylvania State University

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Dr. Kathryn Jablokow is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design at Penn State University. A graduate of Ohio State University (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), Dr. Jablokow’s teaching and research interests include problem solving, invention, and creativity in science and engineering, as well as robotics and computational dynamics. In addition to her membership in ASEE, she is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of ASME. Dr. Jablokow is the architect of a unique 4-course module focused on creativity and problem solving leadership and is currently developing a new methodology for cognition-based design. She is one of three instructors for Penn State’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Creativity, Innovation, and Change, and she is the founding director of the Problem Solving Research Group, whose 50+ collaborating members include faculty and students from several universities, as well as industrial representatives, military leaders, and corporate consultants.

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Daniel Michael Ferguson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Daniel M. Ferguson is the recipient of three NSF awards for research in engineering education and a research associate at Purdue University. Prior to coming to Purdue he was Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University. Before assuming that position he was Associate Director of the Inter-professional Studies Program and Senior Lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology and involved in research in service learning, assessment processes and interventions aimed at improving learning objective attainment. Prior to his University assignments he was the Founder and CEO of The EDI Group, Ltd. and The EDI Group Canada, Ltd, independent professional services companies specializing in B2B electronic commerce and electronic data interchange. The EDI Group companies conducted syndicated market research, offered educational seminars and conferences and published The Journal of Electronic Commerce. He was also a Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago, where he founded and managed the bank’s market leading professional Cash Management Consulting Group, initiated the bank’s non credit service product management organization and profit center profitability programs and was instrumental in the breakthrough EDI/EFT payment system implemented by General Motors. Dr. Ferguson is a graduate of Notre Dame, Stanford and Purdue Universities and a member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University and Central Queensland University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4052-1452

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University and a Professorial Research Fellow at Central Queensland University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by over $12.8 million from the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011. Dr. Ohland is past Chair of ASEE’s Educational Research and Methods division and a member the Board of Governors of the IEEE Education Society. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi.

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Jessica Menold Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Jessica Menold is a doctoral student in mechanical engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. As an undergraduate at Penn State she was heavily involved with a STEM outreach program called the engineering ambassadors. She currently works as a graduate mentor for entrepreneurial student groups on campus as a part of Penn State’s Lion Launch Pad team. Her interests in entrepreneurs, as well as engineering education, has led her to the study of innovation in engineers, working with Dr. Kathryn Jablokow. Her current research focuses on understanding innovation in engineering professionals and students, and she is collaborating with a team at Purdue to create a tool to measure innovativeness among engineers.

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Abstract

Collaborative Research: Identifying and Assessing Key Factors of Engineering InnovativenessSignificant resources are spent nationally and locally to foster innovativeness of engineers, yet confusionremains about the factors that enable innovativeness throughout the engineering innovation process. Thiscollaborative effort combines expertise in cognitive diversity with expertise in assessment andentrepreneurship to characterize and assess innovativeness in practicing engineers and engineeringstudents.We have completed a series of studies to develop a socially constructed set of key innovativeness factors.First, we conducted exploratory interviews with eight individuals who are recognized engineeringinnovators, innovation managers, engineering entrepreneurs and/or scholars of innovation – eachcovering a variety of technical disciplines and industries. Second, we collected interview data from agroup of forty-five engineering innovators, ensuring engineering discipline, gender, ethnic, andgeographic diversity. These interview data were analyzed through a qualitative study to determinewhether the key factors identified in the first study were prevalent among a larger and more diversegroup of participants. Next, we conducted an in-depth literature synthesis to understand different waysin which these innovative engineer characteristics were currently identified, and we have begun to assessexisting needs for new engineering innovativeness assessment instruments.Five key findings of our studies co-constructed with engineering innovators are: 1. A definition of engineering innovation: An improvement in a product or process that has value to users and is implemented sustainably in a community. 2. A two-stage definition of the engineering innovation process: the front-end or discovery and development stage and the back-end or implementation and adoption stage. 3. Five critical characteristics of an engineering innovator: Deep Knowledge, Active Learner/Curious, Vision/Caring, Team Manager/Leader, Risk Taker. 4. The uniqueness of the social construction of the characteristics of an engineering innovator: Each engineering innovator uniquely described the characteristics of an engineering innovator. 5. Five critical characteristics of a non-innovative engineer: people who fail to challenge the status quo, are not collaborators, someone who minimizes risk, is not persistent, and is focused on a narrow domain of knowledge or expertise rather than a more diverse knowledge and skill base.Our future work will focus on three things: (1) developing and validating an instrument to fully measurethe characteristics of engineering innovativeness, (2) investigating how the characteristics of engineeringinnovativeness differ in the stages of innovation and in different engineering domains and contexts, and(3) initiating a database of engineering innovativeness that enables an evaluation and benchmark of theinnovativeness of engineering students and engineering practitioners. With our new validated instrumentin hand, engineering educators in academia and engineering managers in the workplace will be able toprovide students and personnel with insight into their unique “brands” of innovative potential andmanifest ability, and then guide those students/personnel in appropriate directions for professionalgrowth.

Purzer, S., & Jablokow, K., & Ferguson, D. M., & Ohland, M. W., & Menold, J. (2014, June), Collaborative Research: Identifying and Assessing Key Factors of Engineering Innovativeness Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20175

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