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Integrating Entrepreneurship into Manufacturing Engineering Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Manufacturing Process Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.905.1 - 22.905.13



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Paper Authors


Ning Fang Utah State University

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Ning Fang is an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering at Utah State University, USA. He has taught a variety of engineering courses such as metal machining, design for manufacturing, and engineering dynamics. His areas of interest include computer-assisted instructional technology, curricular reform in engineering education, the modeling and optimization of manufacturing processes, and lean product design. He earned his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and is the author of more than 60 technical papers published in refereed international journals and conference proceedings. He is a Senior Member of the Society for Manufacturing Engineering and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is also a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and a member of the American Educational Research Association.

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Integrating Entrepreneurship into Manufacturing Engineering EducationAbstractIn its report on Moving Forward to Improving Engineering Education, the National ScienceBoard made a series of keystone recommendations for the National Science Foundation tosupport innovations in engineering education programs in the 21st century. The reporthighlighted the importance of engineering students’ soft skills in the highly competitive and fastchanging global world. These soft skills − also called professional skills − includecommunication, teamwork, leadership, entrepreneurship, ethics, and so on.Among highly desirable soft skill sets, entrepreneurship has received increasing attention inrecent years in the engineering education community due to its significant role in engineeringinnovation and globalization. This paper describes a Project-Based Learning approach tointegrating entrepreneurship into an upper-level undergraduate manufacturing course entitledMachining Theory and Applications. The students in the class were divided into six teamsworking on a variety of projects throughout a semester. Each project included three tasks:developing a computer software program for machining simulations, developing the associatedbusiness plan, and writing the business plan and orally presenting the project results. The keyelements of the business plan that was developed by the students include executive summary,product description, target market, marketing plan, and the competition. This paper alsoprovides a representative example of student projects and associated business plans.The students’ attitude toward and experiences with their projects were surveyed using a Likert-type and open-ended questionnaire at the end of the semester. The survey results indicated that85.8% of students rated the overall experience with their projects positive or very positive,81.0% of students agreed or very agreed that their business knowledge was improved bydeveloping a business plan, and 90.4% of students agreed or very agreed that it is necessary andimportant to integrate entrepreneurship into manufacturing engineering education. The students’responses to open-ended questions indicated that they learned how important it is to “push” theirdesign to the next step after it has been created, and how to work as a team.

Fang, N. (2011, June), Integrating Entrepreneurship into Manufacturing Engineering Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18225

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