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Teaching Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Student Entrepreneurial and Innovative Mindset

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1246.1 - 25.1246.13



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Paper Authors


Kenneth W. Van Treuren Baylor University

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Ken Van Treuren is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Baylor University, currently serving as the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development for the School of Engineering and Computer Science. He received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and his M.S. in engineering from Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. After serving as USAF pilot in KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft, he completed his D.Phil. in engineering sciences at the University of Oxford, U.K., and returned to the USAF Academy to teach heat transfer and propulsion systems. At Baylor University since 1998, he teaches courses in laboratory techniques, fluid mechanics, energy systems, aeronautics, wind energy, and propulsion systems. Research interests include experimental gas turbine heat transfer and wind energy.

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Buford Randall Jean Baylor University

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Buford Randall Jean, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the holder of nine U.S. patents and corresponding foreign patents in the field of microwave metrology, which have resulted in scientific and industrial instruments for a wide range of sensing and control applications. Industrial products based upon these inventions are in use world-wide. He has more than 25 years of academic and industrial experience in the field of electromagnetics, remote sensing, and sensor development. His current research interests include RF and microwave sensors and measurements for industrial and biomedical applications.He teaches courses undergraduate and graduate courses in electronics, circuits, and electromagnetics.

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Cynthia C. Fry Baylor University

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Cynthia C. Fry is a Senior Lecturer of computer science, and Assistant Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Baylor University.

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Teaching Creativity and Innovation in the ClassroomMuch is being required of engineering graduates that goes well beyond the basic skills traditionallyrequired in engineering. While ABET assessment insures that all programs have the minimum skills andoutcomes required to for accreditation, it is the responsibility of academic institution to develop “corevalues” in their students so that the constituents are best served. Feedback from industry highlights theneed for students to understand more about the areas of creativity and innovation in the context of thebusiness environment,. Innovation and creativity are critical to maintaining an engineering edge in theUnited States’ industrial base. These topics also deserve emphasis in classes other than dedicated designclasses. This paper will outline what is being done at XXXXXX to develop anentrepreneurial/intrapreneurial mindset with our students that emphasizes creativity and innovation. TheKEEN Innovator program is enabling faculty to learn about the need for students to be creative andinnovative. Highlighted in the paper will be two examples where creativity and innovation wereincorporated into classes. Assessment and student response will be addressed. One course, entitled “Electronic Design”, introduced students to the patent process.Students were given periodic assignments linking the course material to relevant patentsassociated with the topic under discussion. A major laboratory assignment required the studentto design a circuit to accomplish a given function while avoiding infringing on a hypotheticalpatent for a well-known design. In addition to reporting experimental results, students wererequired to prepare a patent application for their new design. The patent applications werereviewed by a team of faculty who selected the best application. A second course, entitled“Analysis and Design of Propulsion Systems,” had the students learn about creativity andinnovation, the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, and then apply what they learned to developan RFP for a battlefield information gathering system. Their RFP was presented to a panel offaculty who gave feedback on both the mechanics of presentation as well as the practicality ofthe ideas. A written RFP was also submitted and, based on the two evaluations, a winner wasrecognized. The course went on to use an RFP for the design of a gas turbine engine cycle.Concepts for innovation and creativity were also evaluated on the course exams.

Van Treuren, K. W., & Jean, B. R., & Fry, C. C. (2012, June), Teaching Creativity and Innovation in the Classroom Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22003

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