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Finding a Passion and Making It Happen: A Program's Approach to Promoting Entrepreneurship, Making, and Innovation through Hands-On Projects that Benefit Society

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Beyond the Classroom

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28356

Download Count

60

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Paper Authors

biography

Timothy Joseph Balz Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Tim is a student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology that founded an endowed program as well as a maker space during his junior year. Before attending Rose-Hulman, Tim founded an international charity that has been recognized by the Red Cross and dozens of other organizations for their work providing wheelchairs to those in need. Tim is a recognized inventor for an all-terrain wheelchair targeted at helping veterans that he built the summer before his freshman year. Tim has been recognized for a device that he created while at an Intel internship, and has since worked on industrial robots in Detroit and rockets at SpaceX.

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biography

Ashley Bernal Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Ashley Bernal is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She received her PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011. She was an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) teaching fellow and Student Teaching Enhancement Partnership (STEP) Fellow. Prior to receiving her PhD, she worked as a subsystems engineer at Boeing on the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (JUCAS) program. Her research areas of interest include piezoelectrics, nanomanufacturing, optical measuring techniques, and intercultural design.

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William A. Kline Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Bill Kline is Professor of Engineering Management and Associate Dean of Innovation at Rose-Hulman. His teaching and professional interests include systems engineering, quality, manufacturing systems, innovation, and entrepreneurship. As Associate Dean, he directs the Branam Innovation Center which houses campus competition teams, maker club, and projects.

He is currently an associate with IOI Partners, a consulting venture focused on innovation tools and systems. Prior to joining Rose-Hulman, he was a company co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Montronix, a company in the global machine monitoring industry.

Bill is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Illinois College and a Bronze Tablet graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he received a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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Jessica Livingston Rose-Hulman Institute of technology

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Jessica Livingston is an associate professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She received a B.A. from the University of Georgia, an M.A. from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Her areas of interest include engineering communication and pedagogy, humanitarian engineering, the intersections of gender and work in a global economy, and documentary film.

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Stephen Michael Misak Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Stephen Misak is an Engineering Physics Major Senior at Rose-Hulman University of Technology. Tim Balz and Stephen Misak co-founded the Make It Happen Program in Fall of 2015. While Stephen is passionate about MEMS, laser systems, and sensor technology, he also is driven to find innovative solutions for improving the world, one cause at a time.

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Abstract

Maker skills and a humanitarian mindset are playing an increasingly important role in engineering programs across the country as a way to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. The Make It Happen Program enables students to participate/develop hands on projects that benefit society and earn course credit while doing so. The program combines the benefits of a client-centered project that requires students to use what they have learned in the classroom with the intrinsic motivation that students possess when they genuinely care about their work. In under a year, a collaborative team of students and professors at our university have developed and implemented an endowed program that has allowed dozens of students to work alongside faculty members as they design, develop, and deliver solutions for humanitarian needs. This paper will discuss lessons learned and how a similarly sustainable program might be implemented at other institutions.

This new program is helping students find their passion for engineering and is making a difference in countless lives as it accelerates innovation by using student teams and an advisor working collaboratively to solve technical problems. Students help to organize the program as well as work in project teams. The process and calendar for identifying projects, selecting project teams, and executing the projects through independent study courses are detailed in this paper.

The skillset and mindset learned through the Make It Happen program are vital for an engineer to be a successful innovator and entrepreneur. In the first year of the program, student work has included designing equipment to enable a child in Moldova to walk again, developing a modular service dog pack, and creating equestrian therapy training equipment.

Balz, T. J., & Bernal, A., & Kline, W. A., & Livingston, J., & Misak, S. M. (2017, June), Finding a Passion and Making It Happen: A Program's Approach to Promoting Entrepreneurship, Making, and Innovation through Hands-On Projects that Benefit Society Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28356

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