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Using a Delphi Study to Confirm the Characteristics of an Engineering Innovator

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division – Evaluating Student Behaviors and Attitudes

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count

22

Page Numbers

26.1650.1 - 26.1650.22

DOI

10.18260/p.24986

Permanent URL

https://cms.jee.org/24986

Download Count

184

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Paper Authors

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Daniel M. Ferguson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Daniel M. Ferguson is the recipient of four NSF awards for research in engineering education and a research associate at Purdue University. Prior to coming to Purdue he was Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University. Before assuming that position he was Associate Director of the Inter-professional Studies Program and Senior Lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology and involved in research in service learning, assessment processes and interventions aimed at improving learning objective attainment. Prior to his University assignments he was the Founder and CEO of The EDI Group, Ltd. and The EDI Group Canada, Ltd, independent professional services companies specializing in B2B electronic commerce and electronic data interchange. The EDI Group companies conducted syndicated market research, offered educational seminars and conferences and published The Journal of Electronic Commerce. He was also a Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago, where he founded and managed the bank’s market leading professional Cash Management Consulting Group, initiated the bank’s non credit service product management organization and profit center profitability programs and was instrumental in the breakthrough EDI/EFT payment system implemented by General Motors. Dr. Ferguson is a graduate of Notre Dame, Stanford and Purdue Universities and a member of Tau Beta Pi.

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Kathryn W. Jablokow Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley

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Dr. Kathryn Jablokow is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Design at Penn State University. A graduate of Ohio State University (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering), Dr. Jablokow’s teaching and research interests include problem solving, invention, and creativity in science and engineering, as well as robotics and computational dynamics. In addition to her membership in ASEE, she is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of ASME. Dr. Jablokow is the architect of a unique 4-course module focused on creativity and problem solving leadership and is currently developing a new methodology for cognition-based design. She is one of three instructors for Penn State’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Creativity, Innovation, and Change, and she is the founding director of the Problem Solving Research Group, whose 50+ collaborating members include faculty and students from several universities, as well as industrial representatives, military leaders, and corporate consultants.

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Matthew W. Ohland Purdue University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4052-1452

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Matthew W. Ohland is Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He has degrees from Swarthmore College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Florida. His research on the longitudinal study of engineering students, team assignment, peer evaluation, and active and collaborative teaching methods has been supported by over $14.5 million from the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation and his team received Best Paper awards from the Journal of Engineering Education in 2008 and 2011 and from the IEEE Transactions on Education in 2011. Dr. Ohland is Chair of the IEEE Curriculum and Pedagogy Committee and an ABET Program Evaluator for ASEE. He was the 2002–2006 President of Tau Beta Pi and is a Fellow of the ASEE and IEEE.

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Senay Purzer Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0784-6079

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Ṣenay Purzer is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education. She is the recipient of a 2012 NSF CAREER award, which examines how engineering students approach innovation. She serves on the editorial boards of Science Education and the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education (JPEER). She received a B.S.E with distinction in Engineering in 2009 and a B.S. degree in Physics Education in 1999. Her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are in Science Education from Arizona State University earned in 2002 and 2008, respectively.

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Jessica Dolores Menold Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Jessica Menold is a second year graduate student interested in entrepreneurship, the design process, and innovativeness of engineering graduates and professionals. She is currently working as a student mentor in the Lion Launch Pad program, where she works to support student entrepreneurs. Jessica is currently conducting her graduate research with Dr. Kathryn Jablokow on a project devoted to the development of a psychometric instrument that will measure the skills, behaviors, and traits of an innovative engineer. Her hope is that this awareness of individual innovativeness levels will enhance engineering professionals and student’s innovative skillsets. Jessica is also interested in studying and teaching design thinking methods to students, and is currently working to spread design thinking through mini-workshops across Penn State.

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Abstract

Using a Delphi Study to Confirm the Characteristics of an Engineering InnovatorFew empirical studies describe the individual behavioral characteristics that leadto discovery and implementation of innovations. Even fewer studies focus oninnovative behavior by engineers. Corporate engineering managers andengineering faculty as well as society as a whole are concerned about usinginnovations as a strategy for maintaining the competitiveness of U.S. companiesand encouraging innovative behavior in the professional development ofpracticing engineers. However, societal confusion exists about the definition ofan innovation, the process of producing an innovation and the behavior requiredto be successful as an innovator and an engineer.After spending two years interviewing over 50 engineering innovators about theirexperiences as an innovator, we identified, from qualitatively analyzing theinterviewee data, twenty unique characteristics of engineers who havedemonstrated extraordinary innovative behavior. We then initiated a ModifiedDelphi Study with 150 engineering innovators drawn from academic, corporate,and entrepreneurial organizations to examine the complex constructs associatedwith engineering innovativeness. Delphi Study participants were nominated asextraordinary engineering innovators from large, medium and small firms; frommany different types of engineering activities or professional classifications; andhad experienced all of the different phases of the innovation process.A Delphi Study is a social-constructivist approach to achieving consensusamong experts with diverse perspectives. Data is collected through a series ofanonymous structured surveys and then is shared with those experts. Typically,Delphi studies start with an open-ended survey to have the experts define theproblem subject. In our case we seeded the initial Delphi survey with the 20characteristics identified from our prior research and this type of Delphi Study isreferred to as a Modified Delphi Study.This paper discusses our Modified Delphi Study methodology and the analysisprocess executed for the first survey round. In this first survey in addition toranking the importance of the characteristics and their agreement with theexisting characteristic definition, Delphi Study participants provided over 600comments to help us clarify the characteristic definitions. The final result wassignificantly improved characteristic definitions and a confirmation that thecharacteristics developed from our interviews with engineering innovators wereunique. Finally we will discuss the next steps in our engineering innovativenessresearch.

Ferguson, D. M., & Jablokow, K. W., & Ohland, M. W., & Purzer, S., & Menold, J. D. (2015, June), Using a Delphi Study to Confirm the Characteristics of an Engineering Innovator Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24986

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