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Intrapreneurship: A Collaborative Learning Approach Between Industry and Academics to Build Critical Skills

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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 – Innovative Course Offerings

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1020.1 - 26.1020.16



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Paper Authors


Leo E. Hanifin University of Detroit Mercy

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After engineering positions in the computer, aerospace and automotive industries, Dr. Hanifin led a research center focused on manufacturing technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for eleven years. He then served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Science at the University of Detroit Mercy for twenty-one years. He is now retired from full-time academic responsibilities, but continues to consult in higher education, study innovation methods and advocate for effective transit systems.

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Ross A. Lee Villanova University

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Dr. Ross A. Lee, Villanova University

Ross Lee is a professor and Engineering Fellow at Villanova University where he teaches Engineering Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Industrial Chemistry, Sustainable Materialsand Design, Green Science, and Biomimicry. Dr. Lee has over 36 years of industrial experience with the DuPont company (retired July 2009) spanning a wide variety of technology, product and new business developments including films, resins and innovative packaging systems.

He has authored or coauthored over 20 patents and publications. In his most recent position, Ross was responsible for bringing new technology to packaging through open innovation and was instrumental in developing DuPont’s alliances with Plantic and Scanbuy. He has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Michigan State University and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester. Ross and his family reside in Chesapeake City, Maryland

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Intrapreneurship: A Collaborative Learning Approach between Industry and Academics to Build Critical SkillsMost of the students engaging in entrepreneurship at engineering schools will not start their ownbusinesses as their first employment. Most will enter industry. The challenge to use theirentrepreneurial interests and skills then resides in their abilities to innovate, engage,communicate and lead in an industrial environment to identify and pursue new opportunities anddirections for these organizations.Building on an extensive study conducted with a team comprised of faculty from four leadingcolleges and encompassing an industrial advisory group composed of leaders from close to adozen companies spanning large material based corporations to large consumer products goodscompanies to recognized world class innovation companies, this paper will provide a formula forsuccessfully identifying and building the skills that today’s industry regards as critical forintrapreneurship. The paper will include the collaborative process used to identify the skills andthe recommended, specific upgrades to the engineering education to develop the skills in thegraduating student. A specific skill example will be used to illustrate both curricula-based andnon-curricula-based educational changes and the collaborative process used to engage facultyand industry to arrive at the recommendation. This will include collaborative internships withspecific metrics to ensure that the industrial experience embraces, tests for, and collaborativelymeasures the progress in the development of the intrapreneurial skill.Finally, an extension of this to post graduate research, at both the Master’s and PhD level, whoseentry jobs also, predominantly, reside in corporations rather than start-ups, will be included.One of these examples will cover a new PhD program that includes a differentiated core conceptbased on one of the identified critical skills.

Hanifin, L. E., & Lee, R. A. (2015, June), Intrapreneurship: A Collaborative Learning Approach Between Industry and Academics to Build Critical Skills Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24357

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