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Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Examination

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37076

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

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Heydi L. Dominguez New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Heydi Dominguez is a fourth-year undergraduate student pursuing her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Her career interests include conducting research in the field of engineering education, particularly focused on entrepreneurship and design education for engineering undergraduates. At NJIT, she is actively engaged in the Society of Women Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

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Vibhavari Vempala University of Michigan

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Vibhavari (Vibha) Vempala is a PhD student in Engineering Education Research at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include engineering identity, engineering student development and students' experiences and perceptions of Biomedical Engineering. Vibha received a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering from the joint department of Biomedical Engineering at The North Carolina State University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Prateek Shekhar New Jersey Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6552-2887

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Prateek Shekhar is an Assistant Professor - Engineering Education at New Jersey Institute of Technology. His research is focused on examining translation of engineering education research in practice, assessment and evaluation of dissemination initiatives and educational programs in engineering disciplines. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California and B.S. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from India.

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Aileen Huang-Saad Northeastern University

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In February 2021 Dr. Huang-Saad joined the Bioengineering faculty at Northeastern University and became the Director
of Life Sciences and Engineering Programs at The Roux Institute (Portland, Maine). Dr. Huang-Saad has a fourteen-
year history of bringing about organizational change in higher education, leveraging evidence-based practices
at University of Michigan. She created the U-M BME graduate design program, co-founded the U-M College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, launched the U-M National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Node,
and developed the U-M BME Instructional Incubator. She is a canonical instructor for both the NSF and National
Institute of Health (NIH) I-Corps Programs. Dr. Huang- Saad has received numerous awards for her teaching and
student advising, including the 1938E College of Engineering Award, the Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award, the
U-M ASEE Outstanding Professor Award, the International Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award, and the College of
Engineering Outstanding Student Advisor Award. Aileen has worked in the private sector gaining experience in biotech, defense, and medical device testing at large companies and start-ups. Aileen’s current research areas include entrepreneurship engineering education, impact and engaged learning. Aileen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

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Jacob Frederick Fuher University of Michigan

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Jacob Fuher is an engineer working in the automotive industry. His academic and research interests include Data Analysis, Optics and Network, Communication and Information Systems, as well as education. He plans to further explore engineering education research throughout his career. Jacob Fuher has earned a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.

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Abstract

Entrepreneurship education is being increasingly introduced in engineering fields to develop graduates who possess entrepreneurial characteristics and skillsets. Engineering entrepreneurship programs have evolved from business-centric notion of venture-creation to holistic development of entrepreneurial skills and mindsets in students. In our presented qualitative research, we examine engineering student’s perceptions of entrepreneurship. The purpose of our study is to conceptualize students’ perceptions of entrepreneurship to better inform the development of new and existing entrepreneurship programming for engineering disciplines. We argue that clearer understanding will assist in developing programs which are more aligned with students’ perceived notions and expectations. In our work, an open-ended survey was administered at a large midwestern university, in which 194 engineering students responded to three open-ended questions. These open-ended questions examined students’ perceptions such as definition of entrepreneurship, characteristics of an entrepreneur, students’ self-identification as being entrepreneurial and reflection on their reasons behind their self-identification. Our analysis followed a qualitative interpretative approach, in which we used first and second cycle coding methods to examine students’ responses. Our findings identify different aspects of students’ perceptions pertinent to entrepreneurship definition and characteristics. We provide implications for engineering entrepreneurship education and directions for future research in the area.

Dominguez, H. L., & Vempala, V., & Shekhar, P., & Huang-Saad, A., & Fuher, J. F. (2021, July), Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Entrepreneurship: A Qualitative Examination Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37076

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