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Understanding the Technical Entrepreneurship Landscape in Engineering Education

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1575.1 - 22.1575.13



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Paper Authors


Mary Besterfield-Sacre University of Pittsburgh

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Mary Besterfield-Sacre is an Associate Professor and Fulton C. Noss Faculty Fellow in Department of Industrial Engineering, a Center Associate for the Learning Research and Development Center, and the Director for the Engineering Education Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her principal research is in engineering education assessment, which has been funded by the NSF, Department of Education, Sloan Foundation, Engineering Information Foundation, and the NCIIA. Mary’s current research focuses on three distinct but highly correlated areas – innovative product design, entrepreneurship, and modeling. She has served as an associate editor for the JEE and is currently associate editor for the AEE Journal.

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Nur Ozge Ozaltin University of Pittsburgh

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Nur Özge Özaltin is a graduate student in the Industrial Engineering department at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her B.S. in Industrial Engineering at Bosphorus (Bogazici) University in Turkey, and her Masters degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh respectively. Her research interest involves improving innovation through modeling the design process.

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Angela Shartrand National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)


Larry J. Shuman University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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Larry J. Shuman is Senior Associate Dean for Academics and Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on improving the engineering educational
experience with an emphasis on assessment of design and problem solving, and the study of the ethical behavior of engineers and engineering managers. A former senior editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, Dr. Shuman is the founding editor of Advances in Engineering Education. He has published widely in the engineering education literature, and is co-author of
Engineering Ethics: Balancing Cost, Schedule and Risk - Lessons Learned from the Space Shuttle (Cambridge University Press). He received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in
Operations Research and the BSEE from the University of Cincinnati. He is an ASEE Fellow.

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Phil Weilerstein VentureWell

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Understanding the Technical Entrepreneurship Landscape in Engineering EducationOver the past decade, entrepreneurship has emerged as a critical aspect of engineering education.Driven by changes in the global economy, entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing areas ofcourse development. Across the U.S., literally hundreds of entrepreneurship courses, programsand certificates are offered for engineering students, yet little has been done to define whatconstitutes appropriate content or to assess the degree to which these educational experienceshave resulted in student learning of entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attitudes. Underfunding from the National Science Foundation, CCLI – Phase II, we are conducting a nationwidestudy to determine the status of entrepreneurship education across the U.S. As a subset of thislarger study we are investigating the variety of entrepreneurship opportunities available on campuses. To do this we examined institutional websites to collect information on:a) programs and courses in entrepreneurship that are offered to engineering students, b) wherethese programs and courses are located within the university, and c) extracurricular learningopportunities and resources for entrepreneurship (e.g., centers, entrepreneurship contests,funding in entrepreneurship, etc.). To achieve completeness, data collection and verification wasaccomplished by three analysts.Cluster analysis was conducted using PASW Modeler to group institutions into like categories.Several algorithms were tested with the two-step algorithm yielding the best results in terms ofcluster quality; and we were able to identify important cluster predictors. Our approach toclustering engineering schools was three-fold. First we clustered schools according to variablesdepicting opportunities offered within engineering schools, as well as by creating a surrogatevariable to emphasize the degree to which engineering schools are involved in entrepreneurship.Following this, a secondary set of clusters was created to include variables related to businessschool involvement. This was done to determine how the engineering school clusters morphedgiven exposure to a business school. For those engineering schools that have majors, minors, orcertificates in technical entrepreneurship, course offerings were coded and a third set of clusterswere created to determine the ‘perspective’ by which entrepreneurship was taught.This paper reports on this analysis and discusses the different types of models implemented atinstitutions to deliver entrepreneurial education in engineering schools, as well as providingexemplars from various clusters. When complete, this work will provide faculty with essentialmodels, actionable information about institutional factors, and common curricular andextracurricular practices.

Besterfield-Sacre, M., & Ozaltin, N. O., & Shartrand, A., & Shuman, L. J., & Weilerstein, P. (2011, June), Understanding the Technical Entrepreneurship Landscape in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18993

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