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Identifying Key Factors of Engineering Innovativeness

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

26.875.1 - 26.875.8

DOI

10.18260/p.24212

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24212

Download Count

189

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Paper Authors

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Kathryn W. Jablokow Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley

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Dr. Kathryn Jablokow is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design at Penn State University. A graduate of Ohio State University (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), Dr. Jablokow’s teaching and research interests include problem solving, invention, and creativity in science and engineering, as well as robotics and computational dynamics. In addition to her membership in ASEE, she is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of ASME. Dr. Jablokow is the architect of a unique 4-course module focused on creativity and problem solving leadership and is currently developing a new methodology for cognition-based design. She is one of three instructors for Penn State’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Creativity, Innovation, and Change, and she is the founding director of the Problem Solving Research Group, whose 50+ collaborating members include faculty and students from several universities, as well as industrial representatives, military leaders, and corporate consultants.

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Senay Purzer Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0784-6079

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Ṣenay Purzer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education. She is the recipient of a 2012 NSF CAREER award, which examines how engineering students approach innovation. She serves on the editorial boards of Science Education and the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education (JPEER). She received a B.S.E with distinction in Engineering in 2009 and a B.S. degree in Physics Education in 1999. Her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are in Science Education from Arizona State University earned in 2002 and 2008, respectively.

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Daniel Michael Ferguson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Daniel M. Ferguson is the recipient of four NSF awards for research in engineering education and a research associate at Purdue University. Prior to coming to Purdue he was Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University. Before assuming that position he was Associate Director of the Inter-professional Studies Program and Senior Lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology and involved in research in service learning, assessment processes and interventions aimed at improving learning objective attainment. Prior to his University assignments he was the Founder and CEO of The EDI Group, Ltd. and The EDI Group Canada, Ltd, independent professional services companies specializing in B2B electronic commerce and electronic data interchange. The EDI Group companies conducted syndicated market research, offered educational seminars and conferences and published The Journal of Electronic Commerce. He was also a Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago, where he founded and managed the bank’s market leading professional Cash Management Consulting Group, initiated the bank’s non credit service product management organization and profit center profitability programs and was instrumental in the breakthrough EDI/EFT payment system implemented by General Motors. Dr. Ferguson is a graduate of Notre Dame, Stanford and Purdue Universities and a member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University and Central Queensland University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4052-1452

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University and a Professorial Research Fellow at Central Queensland University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by over $14.5 million from the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011. Dr. Ohland is Chair of the IEEE Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee and an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE and IEEE.

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Jessica Menold Menold Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Jessica Menold is a second year graduate student interested in entrepreneurship, the design process, and innovativeness of engineering graduates and professionals. She is currently working as a student mentor in the Lion Launch Pad program, where she works to support student entrepreneurs. Jessica is currently conducting her graduate research with Dr. Kathryn Jablokow on a project devoted to the development of a psychometric instrument that will measure the skills, behaviors, and traits of an innovative engineer. Her hope is that this awareness of individual innovativeness levels will enhance engineering professionals and student’s innovative skillsets. Jessica is also interested in studying and teaching design thinking methods to students, and is currently working to spread design thinking through mini-workshops across Penn State.

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Abstract

Identifying key factors of engineering innovativenessSignificant resources are spent nationally and locally to foster innovation, yet limited research exists onthe personal characteristics of innovators, especially those found in engineering. This three-yearcollaborative research project, currently in its second year, has led to the identification of specificattributes associated with engineering innovators, with the potential to inform a broad range of people,from engineering students to engineering educators to practicing engineers and their managers. Throughthis project, we have developed a socially constructed set of key engineering innovativenesscharacteristics based on the views of a diverse group of engineering innovation experts. We have alsodetermined which characteristics are more important in specific stages of the innovation process, andexamined the innovativeness factors that are innate/fixed (e.g., cognitive style) versus those that can bechanged/enhanced (e.g., knowledge, skills).Through a series of interviews and a Delphi study with engineering innovators from academia andindustry, we found the innovation process to have at least three distinct stages: (1) the front-end ordiscovery stage, (2) the middle or development stage, and (3) the back-end or implementation andadoption stage. For example, some of the key characteristics of engineering innovativeness that wereidentified with the discovery stage of the innovation process included: experimenter, alternatives seeker,curious, risk taker, and visionary. Future research steps will focus on testing and widely disseminating avalidated instrument that assesses the key engineering innovativeness characteristics, and using ourresearch results to inform the education of innovative engineers and the professional development ofengineering practitioners.

Jablokow, K. W., & Purzer, S., & Ferguson, D. M., & Ohland, M. W., & Menold, J. (2015, June), Identifying Key Factors of Engineering Innovativeness Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24212

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