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Modern Engineering Sandwich: Management, Globalization and Entrepreneurship on Top of Product Development

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.912.1 - 24.912.16



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Paper Authors


Zbigniew J. Pasek University of Windsor

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Zbigniew J. Pasek is an associate professor in the department of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering at the University of Windsor. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. His research interests include manufacturing systems automation, risk management, health care engineering, and entrepreneurial and informal engineering education. He is a member of IEEE, ASME, SME, and ASEE.

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Francine K. Schlosser Odette School of Business, University of Windsor

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As Director, Research and Interdisciplinary Learning at the Odette School of Business’ Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre, Dr. Schlosser has worked with other faculties to develop an entrepreneurial culture on campus. Her collaboration with the University of Windsor’s law and engineering faculties has attracted more than $1.7 million in funding in the past five years. She has been honored with multiple research and teaching awards. She serves as Secretary, CCSBE, and associate editor of the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She has published 34 journal articles, book chapters, and cases, and has delivered 55 conference presentations since 2004. She recently was awarded the University of Windsor’s Golden Jubilee Professorship in Business.

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Modern Engineering Sandwich: Management, Globalization andEntrepreneurship on Top of Product DevelopmentThis paper describes the contents, organization and logistics of an undergraduate-level engineering classwhich aims to introduce students to the “big picture” of engineering activities revolving around theprocess of ideation and new product development.While primarily focusing on principles of modern manufacturing, connects them with product designand business process issues, and places them in the context of two important trends: globalization andentrepreneurship. The course aims to analyze the technical and business dimensions of variousmanufacturing paradigms, and identify concepts relevant to globalization and fragmented markets. Italso emphasizes creativity in designing global products and introduces 2nd year engineering students tobasic concepts of entrepreneurship by using Lean Startup approach for starting new companies.The main feature of the course is a semester-long project in which students work in teams. Every teamconsists of up to 5 students, and it is preferred when each student brings to the team a differentbackground and experience. The team assignment is to create a start-up company offering a newproduct type that potentially fits mass-customization markets on a global scale (e.g., has potential to beoffered on multiple national markets). The team has to (1) develop product idea and its design, includingpossible product variations, (2) develop (outline) the manufacturing processes and system necessary tomake the product, and (3) prepare a business plan that covers delivery, organization and cost issues.While the class has been offered since 2009, in its subsequent edition its contents go over multiplerevisions and updates. The most recent modification consisted of merging the class (which usually hasover 200 students enrolled) for part of the term with a class on entrepreneurship offered by a businessschool. As a result, each engineering team was enhanced by addition of an undergraduate student frombusiness. Also, considering that class size has grown considerably, thanks to a ministry grant it was alsopossible to hire 25 student advisors (either senior or graduate students) that were working directly with3-4 teams each.As a result of these changes, new patterns in student behavior started to emerge. Presence of businessstudents and senior advisors became a significant motivational factor. Interdisciplinarity of the teamsreceived natural boost, that eventually led to heightened creativity. Use of the Lean Startupmethodology, which requires the participants continuously verify their design and market hypotheses,has also raised awareness among engineering students that in their professional development they needto broaden their scope and add management, communication and entrepreneurial abilities to their skillset.

Pasek, Z. J., & Schlosser, F. K. (2014, June), Modern Engineering Sandwich: Management, Globalization and Entrepreneurship on Top of Product Development Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22845

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