June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
11.439.1 - 11.439.9
Developing Engineers with an Entrepreneurial Spirit
Since the passage of the Bayh Dole Act in 1980, there has been an increase in activities in technology transfer nationwide according to the Council on Governmental Relations.1 The significant changes in the handling of Intellectual Property has enabled exclusive licensing by the universities enhancing the ability of university personnel to participate in the commercialization of technology. Over 300 public universities in the United State have since created some form of Entrepreneurship program. In 2000, under the leadership of Dean A. Wayne Bennett, Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering recognized the need to promote such a program.
The Jack Hatcher Engineering Entrepreneurship Certificate Program at Mississippi State University was initiated on February 7, 2001, with a primary investment of $1.25 million. Since its inception as the first endowed (entrepreneurship) program on the land-grant institution’s campus, the original endowment has grown to $1.5 million. Jack Hatcher, a native of Mississippi, is a 1949 civil engineering graduate from Mississippi State University who also holds a master’s degree from Georgia Tech. Hatcher founded and sold the second largest metal building company in the United States and served as CEO of Robertson –Ceco. He has remained involved in this program since the beginning as both a mentor and advisor. In March 2001, Gerald Nelson was appointed director of the entrepreneurship program, and in May 2002, he was appointed to the Hatcher Chair for Engineering Entrepreneurship. Gerald Nelson and Robert Taylor co-authored the “Mississippi State University Engineering Entrepreneurship Program,” which was presented by Dr. Taylor at the 2003 ASEE conference. This paper will focus briefly on an overview of the program to date, but will primarily address the long-term goals, the culture adjustment that is ongoing, and the strengths and weaknesses of such an endeavor.
The vision statement for this program was a combination of the shared visions of Mr. Hatcher, Dean Wayne Bennett and the Director:
Vision of the Jack Hatcher Engineering Entrepreneurship Program
• The engineering student who is in business can receive the education and experience to pursue a technical/business career. • The entrepreneurship program provides a forum for learning Jack Hatcher and experiencing business firsthand from professionals. • The certificate process builds teamwork and communication skills in interdisciplinary project teams. • The student who desires to launch a business is provided with foundational knowledge, experience, and mentoring.
Nelson, G. (2006, June), Developing Engineers With An Entrepreneurial Spirit Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/45
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