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Development of a New Graduate Course in Sustainable Technology Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship Courses and Outcomes II

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.477.1 - 22.477.18

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Paper Authors


Anthony Marchese Colorado State University

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Anthony Marchese is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University and a PI at the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and B.S. and M.S. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently funded by NSF to study pollutant formation and combustion chemistry of algae-derived biofuels and is the fuel conversion/characterization team leader for the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts, a $48 Million algal biofuel consortium recently awarded by the Department of Energy. Prof. Marchese teaches courses in combustion, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics and product design. He has previously held positions at Rowan University, United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, CT and NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. He is the holder of two United States Patents and is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Pi Tau Sigma, The Combustion Institute, AIAA, ASME, SAE and ASEE. In 2001, he was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and in 2004 he was awarded the ASEE Kauffman Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator Award.

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Development of a New Graduate Course in Sustainable TechnologyEntrepreneurship for Scientists and EngineersThis paper describes the development of a new graduate level course entitled SustainableTechnology Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers (STESE), which was jointlydeveloped and delivered by the Colleges of Engineering, Business and Agricultural Sciences atColorado State University. The overarching goals of the STESE course were two-fold: (1) toinstill an entrepreneurial mindset and global/sustainable perspective among engineering andscience students who typically enter graduate school with a myopic technical focus and (2) toprovide technical expertise and rapid product realization resources to student teams within theGlobal Social Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) program, which is a unique Masters program atCSU wherein business students build and manage sustainable enterprises in developingcountries. The motivation behind the first goal was to address an identified deficiency ofadequate entrepreneurship training opportunities for graduate students within engineering andagricultural sciences at CSU. Numerous startup companies have spun out of these colleges inrecent years by graduate students with good ideas but with little formal business training. And,while a wealth of business expertise and curriculum exists within the GSSE program and theCollege of Business at large, it is difficult for engineering and science graduate students to takeadvantage of these resources given the intensity of the graduate curricula in their own technicaldisciplines. Accordingly, the STESE course utilized condensed material from multiple offeringswithin the College of Business but did not require any prerequisites. The motivation behind thesecond goal was to address a critical shortage of engineering and agricultural science acumenwithin the GSSE teams engaged in sustainable enterprises in developing countries. The latterneed was satisfied by assigning engineering and science students from the STESE course directlyto the GSSE teams. In its first offering, the STESE course was cross listed between the Collegesof Engineering and Agricultural Sciences, which yielded a total enrollment of 40 students among6 different majors. The course was team taught by faculty from three departments (Management,Mechanical Engineering, Agricultural Resource Economics) in a weekly format that includedlecture, project based learning and guest speakers. The 16-week semester was divided into fourgeneral topic areas: the entrepreneurial mindset, product realization, opportunities at the base ofthe pyramid and new venture management. Student evaluations from the first offering of theSTESE course strongly suggest that the students gained valuable exposure to commercializationopportunities for their graduate research along with the recognition of the potential opportunitiesat the base of the global economic period. The slate of guest speakers was overwhelminglyevaluated as the most valuable aspect of the course. The project component of the course wasgenerally viewed less favorably.

Marchese, A. (2011, June), Development of a New Graduate Course in Sustainable Technology Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC.

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