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Creating A Truly Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Educational Environment

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.311.1 - 6.311.16

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Paper Authors

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Berrisford Boothe

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Todd Watkins

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John Ochs

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

Session 2554

Creating a Truly Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Educational Environment

John B. Ochs, Todd A. Watkins and Berrisford W Boothe

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics/Economics Department/Department of Arts and Architecture Lehigh University, Bethlehem PA 18015-3085

Abstract In our age of technological growth and change, the role of the engineer has evolved from lone specialist to team player, from internally focused to globally aware, from reactionary to entrepreneur. The entrepreneur has created much of our social wealth. The characteristics of the entrepreneur transcend academic disciplines, and social as well as economic status. To foster these characteristics among its students, Lehigh University is developing a multidisciplinary educational environment where entrepreneurial spirit can flourish. Lehigh’s academic programs in Integrated Product, Process and Project (iP3), Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE), and Integrated Design Arts (IDA) integrate across Engineering, Business and Design Arts through sponsored projects and entrepreneurial teams or e-teams consisting of students, faculty advisors, staff support and company mentors. Project sponsors include the full range from student entrepreneurs and other start-up companies, to established small, medium and large corporations. The multi-level approach to curricular integration includes pre-college outreach, freshman projects, curricula support, capstone projects and graduate projects. The educational environment includes a Campus Center for Entrepreneurial projects; an entire building designed to support students project teams. This paper will discuss the design and implementation of these programs, our assessment and evaluation methods, lessons learned and future plans for improving this environment.

1. Introduction The engineer as inventor is certainly not new. Many innovative products that we enjoy today were invented and created by engineers, but what about the engineer as entrepreneur? Textbook authors write and students study engineering design, concurrent engineering and design in a broad context.1,2,3,4 The question that confronts those that teach design is how broad and inclusive is the context that is presented to the our student. Many schools have addressed this issues in the capstone project class5 [This reference contains an additional 36 references of various schools’ approaches]. Our answer is “as broad as possible” including engineering,

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Boothe, B., & Watkins, T., & Ochs, J. (2001, June), Creating A Truly Multidisciplinary Entrepreneurial Educational Environment Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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