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Students Learn Fundamentals of Engineering Design while Pursuing their own Entrepreneurial Ideas

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Design in Freshman and Sophomore Courses

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1346.1 - 22.1346.23



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Paper Authors


Kevin D. Dahm Rowan University

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Kevin Dahm is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his B.S. from WPI in 1992 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1998. He has published on teaching engineering design, assessment of student learning, and use of process simulation in undergraduate education. He is the recipient of the 2004 Fahien Award and the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Section Outstanding Teaching Award from ASEE.

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William Riddell Rowan University

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William Riddell is an Associate Professor in the Civil and Engineering Department at Rowan University. His research interests include design, fatigue and fracture, and sustainability. Prior to joining Rowan, he was at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA and was a National Resarch Council postdoctoral fellow in residence at the Mechanics of Materials Branch at NASA Langley Research Center.

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Rowan University has a unique 8-semester Engineering Clinic sequence. Thissequence helps develop professional skills identified in the ABET A-K criteriathough project-based-learning. The specific role of the SophomoreEngineering Clinics is to provide an introduction to technical communicationand engineering design principles. Design skills are further developed indiscipline-specific capstone design experiences and in the Junior/SeniorEngineering Clinics.For many years, open ended design projects varying in scope from 3 weeks to a fullsemester have been presented in the Sophomore Engineering Clinics. In recent years,two new entrepreneurial assignments were integrated into Sophomore Clinic: • Sophomore Clinic I (fall semester): A white paper assignment, in which students examine a product that doesn’t currently exist but could foreseeably be developed in the near future, was added to Sophomore Clinic I. • Sophomore Clinic II (spring semester) An entrepreneurial project framework, in which students propose their own idea for an entrepreneurial project and try to convince classmates to join this project. Projects that attract enough interest are run as the design projects during the rest of the semester.A previous paper [1] examined the role and impact of these new Sophomore Clinicassignments in Rowan’s college-wide effort to foster entrepreneurship in students. Theproposed paper will focus on how these projects proved to be an effective vehicle formeeting the primary pedagogical goals of Sophomore Engineering Clinic: teachingengineering design and technical communication. New assessment results quantifyingstudent success on the entrepreneurial projects, both in terms of developing studentinterest at the beginning of the semester and in convincing faculty at the end of thesemester that a project merits additional effort in the Junior year, will also be presented.[1] K. Dahm, T. Merrill, W. Riddell, and L. Weiss, “Fostering Entrepreneurship WhileTeaching Design,” ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Louisville, KY, June 2010.

Dahm, K. D., & Riddell, W. (2011, June), Students Learn Fundamentals of Engineering Design while Pursuing their own Entrepreneurial Ideas Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18454

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