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Entrepreneurial-minded Learning in an Introduction to Bioengineering Course

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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 6

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Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Shelly Gulati University of the Pacific Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Shelly Gulati is Associate Professor and Chair of Bioengineering. She is also serving as the Faculty Fellow, Academic Advising. She has been at Pacific since 2010. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Bioengineering from University of California, Berkeley. She also spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in London at Imperial College. Dr. Gulati’s research expertise is biomicrofluidics. More recently, her interests have emphasized engineering education to promote persistence and success in engineering.

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Mehdi Khazaeli University of the Pacific

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Mehdi Khazaeli is an Associate Professor in School of Engineering and Computer Science at University of the Pacific. He also serves as Director of Pacific’s Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship (TIE) Program. He teaches courses in Design and Innovation, Decision Making, Building Information Modeling and Data Analytics. He has consulted with and/or taught seminars to a variety of clients in R&D-based industries, research organizations and educational institutions.

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Jeremy S. Hanlon University of the Pacific

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Bioengineering students tend to be drawn to the discipline based on a passion to create solutions to biomedical problems that can improve an individual’s quality of life. New bioengineering students taking mainly foundational science and engineering courses struggle to connect these broad aspirations to their day-to-day learning. Since an early exposure to aspects of the major as well as design concepts are found to be vital to persistence in engineering, a biomimicry design project is included in our Introduction to Bioengineering course. The project requires teams to propose a biomimetic product or design concept and describe their idea in a presentation. The results shared in this study are for two class cohorts. The first cohort was also required to use prototyping tools to illustrate their design concept. This was modified for the second cohort to emphasize conception of a product and required teams to make a storyboard to communicate their design and illustrate the interaction between the product and user with the option to also build a prototype. This project incorporates entrepreneurial mindset learning (EML) emphasizing the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) learning concept of Curiosity. A tour of an innovation space and rapid prototyping tools was included to spur ideas on how to illustrate their design concept. Additional class sessions were devoted to collaborative group work with opportunities to discuss their design with the instructor and the director of the innovation space. Students were surveyed before and after completing the project on their knowledge and beliefs on innovation and entrepreneurship. Areas identified as having improved in the understanding of the basic steps necessary to translate an idea into a product and commercialize their product (Student’s t-test pre- vs. post-survey, p < 0.002) and the difference between invention and innovation (p< 0.001). Additionally, there was enhanced belief that problems are really opportunities (p < 0.04) and enhanced motivation to design solutions to unmet needs in the marketplace and in the world (p<0.01). One team has continued to work on the area of their project following completion of class. Finally, student feedback also indicated that they found the project was important assignment, was exciting to work on, enhanced their creativity skills, and contributed to their understanding of bioengineering.

Gulati, S., & Khazaeli, M., & Hanlon, J. S. (2021, July), Entrepreneurial-minded Learning in an Introduction to Bioengineering Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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