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Integration of Entrepreneurship in a First-Year Engineering Course

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in First-Year Programs

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Liang Li Wu University of California, Irvine

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Liang (Lily) Wu is the Director of Academic Innovation, Programs at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine. Dr. Wu is responsible for implementing, overseeing and assessing the first-year engineering program and international programs to enhance and support the engineering education at the School of Engineering. Dr. Wu received her Ph.D. degree in Material Science and Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2007 with primary research focuses on the design, development and integration of microfluidic systems for biomedical applications.

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Gregory N. Washington University of California, Irvine

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Gregory Washington is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Stacey Nicolas Dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California Irvine. Professor Washington has been involved in multidomain research for the last 20 years. He is the first African-American Dean of Engineering at any of the University of California, Campuses. His core area of interest lies in the area of dynamic systems: modeling and control. During this time he has been involved in the following applications: the design and control of mechanically actuated antennas, advanced control of machine tools, the design and control of Hybrid Electric Vehicles, and structural position and vibration control with smart materials. He has written more than 150 technical publications in journals, edited volumes, and conference proceedings and is internationally known for his research on ultra-lightweight structurally active antenna systems and other structures that involve the use of “smart materials”. Professor Washington has served on several advisory boards to include the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the National Science Foundation Engineering Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Pubic Policy Committee of the ASEE Engineering Deans Council. Professor Washington received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from NC State.

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Research studies have shown that providing entrepreneurship education could broaden student career choices and perspectives. In addition, globalization has introduced intense competitions for employment and it is less likely that American students will continue to enjoy the plethora of employment opportunities. Students exposed to entrepreneurship focused courses demonstrate higher levels of self-efficacy and motivation, which in return, can potentially lead to successful entrepreneurial ventures making an impact on the nation’s economic growth. We report on the integration of entrepreneurship into a project-based first-year engineering course to encourage student innovation, and to develop student leadership and self-efficacy. A module featuring a series of lectures on entrepreneurship and business plan development were introduced as part of the curriculum. The module was further enhanced with the introduction of multiple company founders and industrial leaders who were invited to deliver presentations and interact with students regarding operations of engineering corporations. Students were required to present in teams on a new business idea related to the assigned engineering project of the course. Student learning was also assessed through surveys on the impact and effectiveness of integrating the entrepreneurship component into the first-year engineering class.

Wu, L. L., & Washington, G. N. (2017, June), Integration of Entrepreneurship in a First-Year Engineering Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28568

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