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Marketing Enhances Engineering Product Innovation

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

DEED Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.887.1 - 9.887.11



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Paper Authors

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John Farris

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1725

Marketing Enhances Engineering Product Innovation

John Farris, Paul Lane

Padnos School of Engineering / Seidman School of Business

Grand Valley State University


Product innovation is increasingly a multi-disciplinary undertaking. In an effort to prepare leaders for this interdisciplinary effort, the authors are developing a methodology and a guiding model to teach the product innovation process to graduate engineering and marketing students. In this innovative program, two parallel courses are offered in one semester. The classes follow the same schedule, and participate in the same experiential learning component but have different curriculum, texts, and faculty. The classes meet together or separately in order to facilitate a learning community surrounding the product innovation process. Faculty members evaluate students in their own disciplines. The objective of the project is to design a new to the world product and create a market entry plan. The engineering and marketing students work together to research and develop a product that the customers want and that can be produced for a price the customers are willing to pay.

The complex collaboration between marketing and engineering students is facilitated using a modified product innovation process. The model provides a framework to integrate marketing’s focus on the customer, research, information technology, and the core benefit into the innovation process with the engineer’s focus on function and technology. The contributions marketing and engineering make to each phase of the product innovation process are emphasized. The second theme is iteration and adaptation. As marketing and engineering develop information about the product and its potential market, the design and marketing plan must change. Suggestions are made for improving the courses based on what has been learned and where the program is going.

I. Introduction

Before the winter2003 semester Engineering 610, Engineering Design, was taught not taught with any links to a marketing course. The course was a requirement in the practice oriented engineering masters degree program in the Padnos school of Engineering at Grand Valley State University. The class had evolved to include team, semester-long, design projects. Student usually proposed design projects related to their jobs or project topics were solicited from the Small Business Technology Development Center on campus. With only engineers in the class, creativity was stifled and much of the new product development process was not Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Farris, J. (2004, June), Marketing Enhances Engineering Product Innovation Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13855

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