Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.464.1 - 4.464.8
Something for Everyone via NCIIA E-Team Development Projects - Introducing Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Students, Augmenting your Design Lab Budget, and Exploring Parallels between Design Innovation and Program Assessment.
Frederick L. Orthlieb, P.E. Department of Engineering Swarthmore College
This paper looks back over three successive NCIIA-sponsored product development project courses, discusses some positive outcomes for faculty and student participants, and draws some parallels between background research, problem definition, specification setting, project planning and evaluation phases of a project-based design course and analogous stages of information gathering, program description, goal and outcomes identification, performance measurement and evaluation that comprise an engineering program assessment task. NCIIA- designated level I, II and III projects are covered, including both embedded laboratory modules and full semester efforts. Students not only benefit from interdisciplinary interaction among and outside of engineering fields, but also get to specify, acquire, use and evaluate components and equipment items not commonly found in many undergraduate labs, particularly at smaller institutions. In developing their own project plans, reports and proposals for further support, student entrepreneurial teams gather, evaluate and interpret both technical and market information using processes that surprisingly resemble those that engineering faculty must now learn to assess the state of existing engineering programs and plan for continuous improvement under ABET EC2000. Both sets of tasks involve conceptual integration at a higher level than is usual in undergraduate engineering education, but is more commonly practiced in the liberal arts.
1. Product Development as Design Instruction
Providing authentic instruction and experience in design-based engineering entrepreneurship is always a challenge. Set-piece design innovation problems may be new to individual students, but they cannot incorporate the same technological uncertainty and economic risk as a real product development effort, nor can they serve as a basis for truly open and spontaneous interaction between students and outside resource-people expert in marketing and market research, patents and intellectual property, venture capital, etc. - these consultative processes degenerate into role-playing after the first iteration of any given problem. Industrially- sponsored engineering clinics provide real tasks and more realistic interaction with experts, but the tasks are almost never crucial to the sponsor’s business success. Because decision-making authority and budgetary control ultimately rest with the sponsor, students are insulated from entreprereurial angst. Only when students themselves have control of project funding and schedule and are entirely responsible for the deliverables is their entrepreneurial experience
Orthlieb, F. (1999, June), Something For Everyone Via Nciia E Team Development Projects Introducing Innovation And Entrepreneurship To Students, Augmenting Your Design Lab Budget, And Exploring Parallels Between Design Innovation And Program Assessment. Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/7945
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