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Launching An Undergraduate Engineering Entrepreneurship Program

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.798.1 - 7.798.8



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Paper Authors

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Jack Matson

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Elizabeth Kisenwether

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Main Menu Session 2793

Launching an Undergraduate Engineering Entrepreneurship Program

Elizabeth C. Kisenwether, Jack V. Matson

College of Engineering Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802

Abstract Historically, entrepreneurship education has been based in business schools, particularly at the MBA and graduate school level. However, with advances in technology driving new products and companies, engineers are becoming key players in new ventures. Thus, there is need for training students at the undergraduate level to manage, lead, and innovate our technological future.

With the support of a grant from the GE Learning Excellence Fund, the College of Engineering through the Problem-Based Learning in Entrepreneurship (PBLE) Program is developing engineering undergraduate courses that incorporate product conceptualization, design, feasibility (technical and market) in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting. The PBLE Program targets students from three academic areas: Engineering, Business and IST (Information Sciences and Technology). This paper explains the processes used to define the new entrepreneurship curriculum, core courses, assessment approach, institutionalization of engineering entrepreneurship, and lessons learned.

Introduction Over the past three years, five factors combined to demonstrate a need and interest in a problem- based, collaborative learning program (and Minor) in entrepreneurship for Penn State undergraduate engineering students. · Research data is confirming that active, collaborative learning methods produce statistically significant gains in student learning than those associated with more traditional instruction methods. 1 · Design courses provided continuously throughout the undergraduate education process is a goal outlined in the ABET2000 Engineering Criteria. 2 · Most recent feedback from the Industrial and Professional Advisory Committee (IPAC) for Penn State’s suggests continued focus on written and oral communications, ability to work on multi-disciplinary teams, project planning and management skills. · Alumni interest and financial support via endowments for engineering entrepreneurship education is growing. · Participation in REEE2000 and REEE2001 Conferences – Roundtable for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education, at Stanford University - confirmed that good engineering design in inherently a creative process, and gaining business acumen is key for engineering entrepreneurship education.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Matson, J., & Kisenwether, E. (2002, June), Launching An Undergraduate Engineering Entrepreneurship Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10338

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