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Introducing a Business Acumen into an Engineering Curriculum

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Capstone Design and Innovations in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.813.1 - 23.813.8



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Paper Authors


John J. Burke P.E. Western New England University

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John Burke received the B.S.E.E. degree from Northeastern University in 1984, and the M.S.E.E. degree from University of California at Los Angeles in 1986, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in 1993.

Dr. Burke joined the faculty of Western New England University (WNE) in 2000 and since 2004 he has been an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Dr. Burke’s primary teaching interests are Electromagnetics, Physics of Semiconductor Devices, High Frequency Circuit Design, Antenna Design and Analog Electronics.

Prior to joining WNE, Dr. Burke was with the EM Observables Division of Mission Research Corporation (MRC) from 1995 to 2000. From 1992 to 1995, Dr. Burke was with the MacNeal-Schwendler Corporation (MSC) Corporation. From 1990 to 1992, Dr. Burke was with Compact Software as a senior research engineer. From 1987 to 1990, Dr. Burke was with the Microwave Electronics Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts. From 1984 to 1986, Dr. Burke was with the Hughes Aircraft Corporation.

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Introducing a Business Acumen into an Engineering Curriculum XX XX University, XX, XXThe Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at the XX University began an effortto integrate business acumen into two ECE courses. The effort started in the fall of 2011 with theEE Lab I, a junior level two-hour lab course and continued in the spring of 2012 with EE Lab II, aone-hour lab course.Students enrolled in the Junior EE Lab sequence, EE Lab I (EE 319) and EE Lab IIa (EE 323),are required to develop a budget for each lab experiment. The budget is an estimate on the costsassociated with performing the lab experiment. Students are given table that lists various costssuch labor rates, use of the lab space, and an overhead rate. The creation of the budget is a pre-lab task. A post-lab task that is included in the lab report a cost report. The cost report details theactual cost of performing the experiment and comparing the actual costs with the predicted costs.The paper will discuss the learning objectives, the outcomes, and the assessment process.This project is sponsored in part by a grant from the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network(KEEN).

Burke, J. J. (2013, June), Introducing a Business Acumen into an Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19827

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