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Embedding Innovation Process And Methodology In Engineering Technology And Business Management And Marketing Courses

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Approaches to Teaching Entrepreneurship

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.530.1 - 11.530.16



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Paper Authors


W. Andrew Clark East Tennessee State University

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W. ANDREW CLARK is a nutritional biochemist with diverse experience in academics and industrial research. He received his Ph.D. in Nutrition from North Carolina State University in 1980 and served as Assistant Professor on Nutrition at South Dakota State University (1980 - 1983). From 1983 to 2001 he held various positions in research, management and business at Eastman Chemical Company. Dr. Clark is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Business at East Tennessee State University.

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J. Paul Sims East Tennessee State University

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J. PAUL SIMS holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Wales (U.K.), an M.S. from the University of Tennessee in Aviation System /Flight Test Engineering, a BS in Physics from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), and a BS in Aerospace Science, also from MTSU. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Technology Department at East Tennessee State University. Dr. Sims is also a Federal Aviation Administration Designated Engineering Representative in the areas of aircraft systems and equipment and flight analysis for large transport FAR part 25 and General Aviation FAR part 23 aircraft (DERT-510369-CE). He has nine FAA and two foreign STC certificates on aircraft from Boeing 72‷s to Piper PA-31. He has authored or co-authored twenty papers in the areas of aircraft testing, aircraft systems design, systems troubleshooting and project management.

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Craig A. Turner East Tennessee State University

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CRAIG A. TURNER is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at East Tennessee State University. His areas of interest and research pertain to the effects of risk on decision-making and contextual determinants of entrepreneurial success and failure. He received his Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1999. His previous experience included 11 years at various positions involving financial and risk management in the citrus processing industry.

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Jon L. Smith East Tennessee State University

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JON LANE SMITH is the Director of East Tennessee State University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. After military service, he studied at the University of South Carolina where he received his Ph.D. in Economics. Dr. Smith has been a member of the faculty of Economics, Finance and Urban Studies since 1980. He has published numerous papers and articles and has been involved with a number of grants. Dr. Smith has been involved in projects for the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the State of South Carolina, the U.S. Department of Education as well as private foundations and municipal governments. He has lectured in both the United States and Europe and is an honorary faculty member of the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, Germany.

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

Embedding Innovation Process and Methodology in Engineering Technology and Business Management and Marketing Coursework


For many business segments, true “out of the box” innovation occurs in entrepreneurial companies where the founders aren’t hindered with the research paradigms established by mainstream businesses. The founders of these companies, many times technologists and scientists, see the application of the technology long before potential customers develop an understanding of the capabilities that the new technology can bring to the marketplace. Many times these “new technology ideas” have been developed though modifying an existing dominant design (product or service) to meet an unforeseen market need or through the development of a new design that may become the new industry standard. The competitors of tomorrow may reside in radically different markets yet have the insight to envision the application or modification of an existing technology to a market segment that they are currently not involved in.

Teaching engineering technology students techniques and visioning tactics related to the innovation process has been difficult. Several of the authors have experienced, both in the classroom and in industrial settings, that many engineering and engineering technology students see innovation as the application of engineering principals resulting in small incremental changes in a process. Although these changes may result in a more efficient process through increased productivity, reduced waste, faster cycle times, etcetera; continuous improvement projects many times do not generate the dramatic market changes seen with a new dominant design. In fact in many established industries, disruptive innovation is discouraged in favor of continuous innovation because of the uncertainty of the risk/reward quotient and the impact that failed experimentation (increased research and development costs) can have on Wall Street’s perception of a company. Our university recently merged the colleges of Business and Technology and Applied Sciences resulting in a cross-pollinated faculty and the establishment of courses in the graduate and undergraduate curriculum where business and engineering technology student’s work together on class projects, many of which involve an innovation component.

It is interesting that many of the faculty who incorporate a discussion or exercise related to the innovation process in their classroom have had extensive experience in an industrial setting prior to joining the university faculty. Industry seasoned faculty bring their “real-world” experience to the classroom and challenge students to move beyond continuous improvement projects. In several cases, ideas generated in the classroom or through collaborative efforts between the business and technology faculty have resulted in prototypes being built in the laboratory for further testing of the prospective innovation.

The presence of a technology-centered business incubator located within walking distance from campus provides students the opportunity to observe several high technology businesses that have developed new technology niches in established market

Clark, W. A., & Sims, J. P., & Turner, C. A., & Smith, J. L. (2006, June), Embedding Innovation Process And Methodology In Engineering Technology And Business Management And Marketing Courses Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--920

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