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The Evolution of a Course on Creativity and New Product Development

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 11

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

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Paper Authors


Larry G. Richards University of Virginia

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Larry G Richards is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia. He leads the Virginia Middle School Engineering Education Initiative, and is active in K 12 outreach and professional development activities locally and nationally. Larry’s research interests include creativity, entrepreneurship, engineering design, innovation, and K-12 engineering education. He is a founding member of the K-12 Division and is a Fellow of ASEE.

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Creativity and New Product Development is a two semester senior design course for Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Virginia. Design thinking is fundamental to all stages of this course. It emphasizes creative thinking and stimulates the students to generate diverse solutions to problems. Students are required to work in teams developing new product ideas. Each team carries their idea through to a working prototype, and manufacturing and business plans. They also submit a proposal for funding and a draft patent application. In its current form, the class project is usually the basis for the senior thesis. For this paper, we reviewed the teams and projects from the last ten years and identified those we felt were clear successes and clear failures. Most teams and projects fell in between; they were acceptable but not great. Our focus is to review what worked and what did not, and identify lessons learned for future course offerings.

Richards, L. G. (2016, June), The Evolution of a Course on Creativity and New Product Development Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26158

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