Asee peer logo

Mapping the Behaviors, Motives, and Professional Competencies of Entrepreneurially Minded Engineers in Theory and Practice: An Empirical Investigation

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship Teaming and Collaboration

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.913.1 - 25.913.22



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


David Pistrui Acumen Dynamics, LLC

visit author page

David Pistrui serves as the Managing Director of Acumen Dynamics, LLC, a strategy-based education, training, and research firm that focuses on practical knowledge and skills that help organizations align vision and strategy with execution and performance. Working as an independent scholar, thought leader and advisor to corporations, family foundations, academic institutions, government agencies and global think tanks, Pistrui's activities include strategy development, business succession, assessment modeling, technology transfer, executive education, and social science research. This includes programs and activities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Pistrui has held several scholarly appointments in the U.S. and Europe, including the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Pistrui is a member of the Kern Family Foundation's Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network Advisory Board. In 2009, he was appointed as a Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center in Vienna.

visit author page

author page

John K. Layer University of Evansville


Sandra L. Dietrich Eastern Michigan University

visit author page

Sandy Dietrich is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Eastern Michigan University. Her dissertation research is focused on engineering education. She has over twenty years of experience in automotive manufacturing as an Engineer and Manager. She has worked directly at every phase of the design process from concept to manufacture to service. She has a B.S. in industrial engineering from Kettering University and an M.S. in applied statistics from Oakland University. Dietrich taught statistics at the University of Phoenix where she was awarded Outstanding Faculty. She is also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Epsilon Pi Tau honor societies.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Mapping the Behaviors, Motives and Professional Competencies of Entrepreneurially Minded Engineers in Theory and Practice: An Empirical InvestigationIn many engineering programs in the United States and around the world, it is no longersufficient to adequately train engineers with excellent left-brain skills – analysis, logicalthinking, and quantitative thought. In fact, the right-brain skills, which include competitivedifferentiation, business adaptability, innovation and the development of a growth culture, andstrategic thinking, are the “key competencies” required to differentiate decision-making in thisrapidly changing marketplace.Today’s environment calls for a new breed of engineer, one who combines their passion for mathand science, with a complementary set of skills such as business acumen, customer awarenessand sensitivity to societal needs. This new emergent class of engineers that industry is seekingneeds to have an opportunity orientation, leadership skills and an entrepreneurial mindset.Entrepreneurially minded engineers (EMEs) are characterized as this emergent class of engineersand act as the drivers of U.S. innovation and competitiveness. EMEs have not necessarily starteda new business (although they may have), they are, most often, working in established small- andmedium-sized firms, many work in Fortune 1000 firms (Kriewall and Mekemson, 2010).The _______________________ a network of twenty-one private engineering schools across theUS, in partnership with _____________________Target Training International (TTI), aworldwide leader in personal and professional assessments, is undertaking the____________Performance DNA Assessment Project. Three well-known and vettedassessments are being used to identify current students’ skills, behaviors and motivators tointegrate the entrepreneurial mindset into undergraduate engineering education. This projectincludes benchmarking practicing EMEs and mapping these insights with respect to engineeringundergraduate students as they matriculate through their education, as freshmen, mid-classmenand seniors.Drawing from a data sample of 3,800 undergraduate students, practicing engineers and EMEsthis paper will employ a combination of descriptive and multivariate methods and techniques toaddress the following opportunities: 1 – Mapping the behavioral styles, motivators, and personaland professional skills of practicing EMEs to establish an industry benchmark, 2 – Creating aseries of undergraduate maps that profile the behavioral styles, motivators, and personal andprofessional skills of engineering students participating in _____ programs, and 3 – Mapping,analyzing and comparing the behavioral styles, motivators, and personal and professional skillsof EMEs, engineers and undergraduate engineering students.   1 

Pistrui, D., & Layer, J. K., & Dietrich, S. L. (2012, June), Mapping the Behaviors, Motives, and Professional Competencies of Entrepreneurially Minded Engineers in Theory and Practice: An Empirical Investigation Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21670

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015