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Instilling the Entrepreneurial Mindset by International Development Project Work

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Program Development & Desired Outcomes

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.973.1 - 26.973.13



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Paper Authors


Pritpal Singh Villanova University

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Dr. Pritpal Singh is Professor and Chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Villanova University. He received a BSc in Physics from the University of Birmingham, UK in 1978, and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Sciences/Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1981 and 1984, respectively. Dr. Singh teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of semiconductor microelectronics, renewable energy systems and power electronics. He has been working on thin film solar cell research since 1979 including a Sabbatical Leave at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 1993. He has also worked on several photovoltaic system projects

Dr. Singh has also worked on electric vehicle research, working on battery monitoring and management systems funded primarily by federal agencies (over $3.5 million of funding).

Dr. Singh has consulted for several companies including Ford Motor Company and Epuron, LLC. He has also served as a reviewer for the US Department of Energy and National Science Foundation. Dr Singh has over 100 conference and journal publications and holds six issued US patents.

Dr. Singh’s recent work is focused on improved, energy efficient devices and systems for use in rural health clinics in developing countries.

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Maria Virginia Moncada

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Instilling the Entrepreneurial Mindset by International Development Project WorkAbstractThe entrepreneurial mindset has a number of attributes including curiosity about the worldaround you, discovery of opportunities, prototyping and vetting technology/business solutionsand then executing on the venture. International development projects offer many possibilities tolearn about an environment that students are not used to seeing and through observation, seeopportunities for technology-based solutions to developing world problems. We have used thismethodology for several senior design projects in the past and more recently have developedcourses specifically to develop these attributes in electrical and computer engineering students.A two course sequence has been piloted for the first time this year. In the first course, taken bystudents in their junior year, the students are given the cultural context in a developing country(in particular, the present course’s focus has been on Nicaragua). This topic is followed by aSpring break trip to Nicaragua and the students live out in rural communities to discoverpotential projects that have technical merit and offer potential business opportunities. The projectproposals are then developed by students from a US university and a Nicaraguan university.In the second course, in parallel with the actual project design, the students take a business modeldevelopment course to understand business models and how to produce them. They then use thisknowledge to develop a business model for their particular projects.In the paper, details of the two courses will be presented along with student outcomes beingmeasured in terms of how well the entrepreneurial mindset is being instilled.

Singh, P., & Moncada, M. V. (2015, June), Instilling the Entrepreneurial Mindset by International Development Project Work Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24310

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