May 1997

Integrated Design

Drexel University - $3500.00

This two-course sequence is required for all seniors in the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department. The fall deliverable is a set of engineering drawings and a manufacturing plan. Teams select products from a list of ideas. The spring project is a tested prototype. Seventy students take the course and form eight to ten E-Teams of about six to seven students each. NCIIA funding allows students to focus on the development of quality prototypes

Junior Engineering Clinic I

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art - $10000.00

In this project, Rowan University's Engineering Clinic incorporated an E-Team structure, enhancing the existing entrepreneurial focus of the Clinic. NCIIA funds were used for E-Team prototypes and product development in the junior and senior phases of the Clinic's four-year course sequence. Throughout the sequence, courses are team-based and focused on design and development of products. Innovation is stressed and students are encouraged to create new technologies.

Development of a Hand Held Sewing Machine

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art - $11900.00

This E-Team began with a proof of principle prototype of a hand held sewing machine. Instead of the advance mechanism pulling the cloth into the sewing mechanism, the user pulls the material through the machine. The sewing mechanism operates and sews the cloth by using the friction between the cloth and a wheel.

The final product will be small, lightweight, portable, and easy to operate. Landscape contractors, army units, or anyone else who needs to repair tears would find this product useful.

The team is made up of two junior mechanical engineers and a faculty member. They are funded to complete a final conceptual product design and prototype, a market analysis, a patent, and marketing plan. The students will work on this project during the summer and as part of their senior design class, a mandatory course for all mechanical engineering seniors. The project originated in an E-Team course Philosophy of Design

Strategic Invention

NCIIA supported the incorporation of E-Teams into a business strategy and planning course at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Students develop projects based on innovations they develop themselves or obtain the rights to develop. Groups call on the network of experts the university has assembled for market assessment mentors. No prototypes are built in the course, but business plans are written and presented to a panel of entrepreneurs, and the option to continue work as Advanced E-Teams is available

GEEN 1400: Designing for the Community: Practical Multidisciplinary Engineering Design Courses

This project supports the integration of E-Team development into an existing course in the Integrated Teaching and Learning Lab (ITLL), a progressive, high profile program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The course currently requires students to complete group work for clients; the focus of this project is the development of more entrepreneurship-related content and a greater focus on commercialization within the course.

Invention and Innovation

With this Course and Program grant, NCIIA continued its support for a successful and innovative program at the Illinois Institute of Technology, entitled the Invention and Innovation Project. E-Team concepts are interwoven into the fabric of the program, and it has generated a number of E-Teams, one of which won several awards. Within the class, innovation is emphasized, while outside lecturers provide a real-world perspective on entrepreneurship and IP. Teams are required to prepare business-style briefings on project progress, as they would to an investor. Additional business and technical advisors supplement the program. The program has significant support at IIT, and the approach is being adopted campus-wide.

Virginia Composite Wheel Team

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $19718.00

The proposal requests funding for the development of a commercial prototype of a composite auto wheel and a proprietary process for producing it. The project seems feasible and well thought out. There is ample commercial potential if it is well executed and the students involved appear to have the appropriate background and skills to carry it out. The proposal has strong support for the advisor who advises a number of E-Teams. The budget request is appropriate and the proposal is well written presenting a clear work plan and time line. A total of $19,718 is requested for: Equipment: $1,799 Internships: $4,500 IP: $2,300 Travel: $500 Supplies, etc.: $10,619

Heat-Driven Refrigeration System

Illinois Institute of Technology, 1998 - $18,000

This E-Team originated in the NCIIA-funded course, Invention Project. The team is designing a refrigeration system that uses heat sources to create cooling.

The refrigeration system will be marketed to developing communities where electricity is scarce. Industrialization goes hand-in-hand with the spread of refrigeration, as it creates a way of storing and transporting food. Heat-driven refrigeration systems have unique capabilities. They are capable of using waste heat from a power plant, an industrial process, or an agricultural process to provide cooling at little extra cost, and can also use solar power or energy produced by low-grade fuel.

GEEN 2400: Innovation for the Community

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $8900.00

This E-Team-focused course, Innovation for the Community, offers lectures on entrepreneurship, IP, and team development from visiting mentors. E-Teams learn first-hand about product development by designing, building, and testing interactive learning exhibits for K-12 classrooms. Students explore the market potential for such products and evaluate competitor products at the Association of Science-Technology Centers conference. An important part of this course is that students "learn by doing."

The course is offered to sophomore engineering and business students who have not taken the course First-Year Engineering Projects. Experience has taught the PIs that students work harder and produce better products when they serve a real client. Students gain an understanding of how innovation causes people and society to change for the better. The course is part of the Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Program that began as a grassroots, college-wide initiative to reform the engineering curricula to incorporate hands-on, team-oriented, project-based learning


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $14900.00

This E-Team is developing an inexpensive consumer device for viewing, optimizing, and printing photographs from film. The apparatus is an inexpensive stand-alone device to view both positive and negative film on a built-in LCD display. Students estimate that even a percentage penetration of the product into the huge post processing market would generate multimillion-dollar revenues.

The reader displays a real-time positive image of positive or negative photographic film onto the reader's LCD display or to a separate TV screen. Output from the reader may be fed into the video input of a PC or MAC where the film is displayed on the monitor as a positive image. Software will allow the user to adjust the image for intensity, contrast, and color balance. The user may then print the final image.

The group is funded to build and test a proof of concept model and to then develop and test a prototype. The team works on the device as an independent study project. The project originated in an E-Team courseInvention: Creative and Legal Perspectives at Ramapo College