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Emphasizing Multidisciplinary Teamwork And Enhancing Communication Skills Through Development Of A Conceptual Business Plan

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.454.1 - 15.454.6



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Paper Authors


Mohamad Ahmadian Eastern New Mexico University

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Mohamad H. Ahmadian, Eastern New Mexico University
Mohamad H. Ahmadian is a professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at Eastern New Mexico University. He also serves as ABET/TAC program evaluator for electronics and computer engineering technology programs. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Before starting Ph.D. work, he worked three years as a project engineer.

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Tom Brown Eastern New Mexico University

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Tom Brown, Eastern New Mexico University
Tom Brown is a professor of Computer Science and the chair of Mathematical Sciences Department at Eastern New Mexico University. He received his BS in Mathematics Education and MS in Mathematics with an emphasis in statistics from the Illinois State University and his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining ENMU he worked as a senior scientist for Schafer Corporation and MZA Associates Corporation for a few years.

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

Emphasizing Multidisciplinary Teamwork and Enhancing Student’s Communication Skills through Development of a Conceptual Business Plan


As part of the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S- STEM) grant the scholarship recipients at Eastern New Mexico University are required to register for a one-credit project course. The course encourages students to hone their communication skills and gain knowledge in functioning effectively on a multidisciplinary team. This article presents a conceptual business plan to assist students in understanding the components of effective teamwork and the importance of good communication skills. Students are provided with a weekly task. The first task includes choosing a company name, and providing descriptions for: the business, product or service, business location, the target market, and the business competition. The final task includes ‘the first year, business survival” such as information on monitoring and evaluation, critical communication and credit, collections, product advances, market trends and summary. In addition to class meetings, students regularly meet outside the class to create a PowerPoint presentation. Students are required to demonstrate that they are making progress in understanding the issues involved in having a successful business.


The goal of this project is to have students achieve competency in business practices equivalent to proficiency realized in engineering subject matters, and to develop leadership among students in a multidiscipline environment. Chaya and Silverman 1 discuss an alternate approach that includes integrating business concepts into ECE courses. They describe an alternative scenario that they designated the "venture capital" (VC) approach. It retains the important feature in which corporate representation is retained but requires students to initiate their own projects (as opposed to providing a request for proposals). They also suggest that the industrial and corporate roles that engineering graduates play has greatly broadened as a consequence of the emergence of the “global” character of economic activity. Accordingly, objectives for engineering design has shifted from those characterized mainly by practical consideration (e.g., component, system, or process design) to those embracing the integration of business and entrepreneurial skills coupled with technical skills. Team-oriented design, awareness of the economic, reliability, and social impact of work product are a few of the new educational prerequisites for this climate. This redirection follows from outcomes assessments, needs of the engineering industrial/corporate client community and subsequently from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Thus, this suggestion was incorporated in the development of this course.

While teamwork is a major component of industry core requirements, the students attending higher education institution do not possess a great deal of teamwork experience. Employers, along with the ABE, expect this type of preparation in these areas to be incorporated into the engineering curriculum at the college and university level. ABET stated in EC 2000, “Criteria”

Ahmadian, M., & Brown, T. (2010, June), Emphasizing Multidisciplinary Teamwork And Enhancing Communication Skills Through Development Of A Conceptual Business Plan Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16983

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