Asee peer logo

Promoting Entrepreneurial Skills Through Senior Design Projects

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Design and Entrepreneurship

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1275.1 - 26.1275.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nabila A. Bousaba University of North Carolina, Charlotte

visit author page

Nabila (Nan) BouSaba is a faculty associate with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte since 2008; she is the senior design instructor for the department, courses taught include Basic Circuit for non- majors, and Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at UNC Charlotte. Nan Earned her BS and Master Degrees in Electrical Engineering (1982, 1986) from North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University. She mentored Departmental sponsored projects such as UNCC Parking team, IEEE Hardware competition teams, industry sponsored projects from Microsoft and EPRI, NASA teams and special Innovation and Entrepreneurship teams. She published and presented papers in ASEE conferences in June 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014. She published paper in IEEE conference in 2013. Prior to her current position at UNC- Charlotte, she worked for IBM (15 years) and Solectron (8 years) in the area of test development and management.

visit author page


James M. Conrad University of North Carolina, Charlotte

visit author page

James M. Conrad received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has served as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and as an instructor at North Carolina State University. He has also worked at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas; at Ericsson/Sony Ericsson in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and at BPM Technology in Greenville, South Carolina. Dr. Conrad is a Professional Engineer, Senior Member of the IEEE and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is also a member of ASEE, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Project Management Institute. He is the author of numerous books, book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers in the areas of embedded systems, robotics, parallel processing, and engineering education.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Promoting Entrepreneurial Skills through Senior Design Projects at the University of XXXXXAbstract: Two faculty from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at theUniversity of XXXX received a grant from VentureWell to develop a course in innovation andentrepreneurship. They offered the course in the spring 2013 and spring 2014 semesters. Thiscourse consisted of a mixture of graduate and undergraduate students from several disciplinesworking on multiple projects; each project was unique, formed out of student or faculty ideas.The faculty teaching this course developed a strategy to nourish the innovation andentrepreneurships in young engineer by allowing all engineering majors to register and byforming multidisciplinary teams that worked on the innovation of the idea, developed anexecutive summary of the project and looked into the financial support of the invention. Eachteam had to analyze the opportunity at hand, provided a thorough market analysis, and write aten page report about the project (from inception to commercialization). Students on each teamwere encouraged to continue to work together in the Senior Design I and Senior Design IIcourses with the intent of them being able to commercialize the design.Part of the faculty research was to build and promote a culture of innovation among engineeringstudents; therefore as a follow up from the course offering in the spring 2013 the facultysupported two projects during their capstone senior design courses for the fall 2013-spring 2014semesters with a strong plan for commercialization of the product. These students weremotivated, self-driven and excited about their projects and the possibility of launching a businesssuccessfully by using our program, and taking advantage of the resources available to them fromour University’s Office of Technology Transfer. This support allowed these two teams to designand prototype the product during the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters. These two teamsreceived multiple cash awards while competing in the State of XXXX Social entrepreneurshipconference and the Ventureprise business competition. One team built a company; it is stillactive even after the participants graduated with their Baccalaureate degrees. Thus far the facultyhave supported four entrepreneurial teams in the capstone senior design courses.While the entrepreneurship course gives a chance for our students to work with a faculty on thedevelopment of a new product, linking it to the capstone senior design course strengthens thefoundation for our engineering students to embark on new opportunity when feasible. Thiscombination helped our students identify opportunities to implement all ideas, helped individualstudent learn about managing business growth, and provided methods of using critical thinking.The Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship course linked with our senior design capstonecourses empowers our graduates to confront challenging business cases and to seek solutionfrom a business perspective. Our goal is to encourage our engineering students to work withbusiness students from the inception of an entrepreneurship project until commercialization.This paper describes in detail the successes of these four entrepreneurial Senior Design teams.

Bousaba, N. A., & Conrad, J. M. (2015, June), Promoting Entrepreneurial Skills Through Senior Design Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24612

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: © 2015 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