New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Introduction Universities are meant to be institutions preparing students to have worldly impact, but the current higher education structure stifles innovative thinkers from reaching their potential and their innovations reaching the customers. Students are not learning in the classroom- in fact, while 96% of college provosts believe their students are prepared for the job market, only 11% of business leaders agree . It is facts similar to this that drove the Bioengineering Senior Design program at Clemson University to develop a program that offsets these statistics to better prepare our biomedical engineering students for the world after graduation. The DeFINE (Design Fundamentals in Needs-Finding Experience) Program is a six-week NIH and VentureWell funded program with two immersive experiences: (1) a clinical immersion experience that enables rising juniors and seniors in bioengineering to experience, empathize and observe a variety of clinical specialties with the goal to identify needs that all too often go unseen by traditional senior design experiences and (2) a technology transfer immersion experience that enables these students to evaluate the defined clinical needs from a technology valuation perspective with a goal to define the likelihood of technology commercialization of each proposed need and the technology thereof. The DeFINE Program has undergone content improvements with respect to Year One and has been implemented for a second time in the summer of 2015. One of the new major metrics for this year of DeFINE is translatability of these skills to the senior design class for fall 2015 and spring 2016. This assessment is still in progress, and an overview will be provided.
Methods Year Two of this six-week summer program started off with a similar orientation week as Year One- training the students in design thinking, ethnography, empathy, observation, technology valuation, and clinical etiquette while also employing 18 students- 16 undergraduates (seniors and juniors) and 2 graduate student mentors- all of whom rotated between at least two of the ten available clinical areas (vascular surgery, surgical oncology, plastic surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, otolaryngology, interventional radiology, sports medicine, colon and rectal, minimally invasive surgery, and pediatrics). Year Two of DeFINE expanded to additional areas of focus for the students in comparison to Year One that allowed for greater flexibility when it came to the required daily clinical shadowing and documentation of needs in each environment. Four days out of each week during the six-week program was spent shadowing clinical collaborators in each of the aforementioned areas. The fifth day of each week was spent working directly with the university technology transfer office to provide exposure to portfolio assessment, technology marketing, and technology licensing and commercialization. Both immersions were vital to the collection of defined needs as seen in initial data collected.
Results Between all 18 students, over 1000 hours were spent defining needs in the operating room, nearly 300 hours in the clinic, and nearly 200 hours working with the technology transfer office, all representing the more than 100 clinicians shadowed to identify over 600 needs. These needs have since been passed on to current senior design capstone students-several of which are returning DeFINE students. It will be these students whose success in senior design will be tracked and whose data will be compiled at a later date with close examination of how the DeFINE Program affected their technology maturity level at the conclusion of the senior design two-semester class.
Conclusion Year Two of the DeFINE Program identified over 600 needs in ten clinical areas- many of which will be re-visited during the senior design process. It is this program that is enabling bioengineering students to think more critically of their environment to make biodesign changes in every area they find themselves immersed in- readying these students with skillsets that future employers are expecting.
 1.Kline, W.A., et al. (2014) The innovation canvas in entrepreneurship education: integrating themes of design, value, and market success. Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship 5(1) 74-93
Przestrzelski, B., & DesJardins, J. D., & Brewer, C. M. I. (2016, June), Year Two - The DeFINE Program: A Clinical and Technology Transfer Immersion Program for Biomedical Needs Identification and Valuation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27062
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