June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.712.1 - 15.712.14
Incorporating Entrepreneurship into a Hands-on Facility Planning Course
The past two decades have seen entrepreneurship emerge as a mainstream business discipline in the United States. Universities are now being expected to inspire entrepreneurship in order to prepare students to succeed in a globally competitive business setting. This paper discusses how the concepts and practices of entrepreneurship are incorporated into a college level facility planning course. Such a course carries three-credit hours, and is comprised of a weekly two-hour lecture and a two-hour lab. Important entrepreneurial concepts are first introduced to students, such as identifying opportunities, creating a business plan, and analyzing the market to determine the target customers. Students will then develop the product and determine the customer demand based upon the market analysis. This paper discusses those tasks as part of students’ projects, ranging from determining the number of workers and machines required by the facility, to the total cost required to start the businesses. Outcome of the course was evaluated by pre and post evaluation instruments conducted by an external professional evaluator. It is demonstrated that the course objectives and ABET requirements were met by student projects, reflections and the evaluation instrument.
The recent globalization of business and engineering practices present both challenges and opportunities to the professionals of engineering education 1. The past two decades have seen entrepreneurship emerge as a mainstream business discipline in the United States2. Universities are now expected to inspire entrepreneurship in order to prepare students to succeed in the globally competitive business setting 3. Entrepreneurship, as a core business skill, has become an increasingly popular course in the curriculum of business colleges. Its popularity results from not only college students who are interested in it, but also from the businesses who hire those college graduates4.
A number of universities are currently teaching entrepreneurship courses to their engineering students. Among them are MIT, Stanford University, and Brown University. MIT offers their student a wide variety of classes in launching, managing, and growing technology-based businesses. They use many different teaching methods in these classes that include case studies, internships, guest lectures, external reviews of student assignments by venture capitalists, and student projects. These courses also help students focus on learning how to effectively work as a team and on presentation skills. Another thing which MIT did to promote entrepreneurship is the holding of an annual contest, the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, where the winning team is awarded a $50K grant which is intended to assist them in starting their business. This contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate students 1.
Chen, J., & Li, Y. (2010, June), Incorporating Entrepreneurship Into A Hands On Facility Planning Course Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16717
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