October 1997

An E-Team to Design a Very Low Power Network


United States
41° 12' 11.9592" N, 77° 11' 40.29" W

University of Pittsburgh - $12500.00

This E-Team developed a prototype for a system that establishes a network of wireless devices within a small area using very low power and RF radio transmission. The transmission distances may range from a few inches to a few meters.

Communication over short distances with very low power creates a wide array of new applications of RF technology. The applications for this technology are diverse, ranging from wireless patient monitoring devices to food safety monitoring for the meat industry. The technology originated in a funded E-Team course EE1185, Microprocessor Systems.

The E-Team plans to develop a prototype and perform a market study on the device. Members of the E-Team are computer and electrical engineering students.

Patent Evaluation and Entrepreneurship

Swarthmore College - $7100.00

This course creates interdisciplinary E-Teams that evaluate the commerical potential of on-the-shelf, patented, university-owned technologies. The curriculum focus is on business planning and creation; students develop prototypes and pursue commercialization if the ideas are feasible. The central feature of the course is the use of E-Teams to move patented but unexploited technologies into the marketplace.

Mechanical Design/ Digital Systems Design

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $12300.00

This project used NCIIA funding to create an E-Team course at Howard University, entitled Mechanical Design / Digital Systems Design. The course is a two-semester design sequence incorporating electrical engineering and mechanical engineering students into E-Team projects. Students select topics, research market potential, write a feasibility plan, and build prototypes. The curriculum includes information on intellectual property (IP), lectures on business topics and a competition between teams to create the projects worth of applying for Advanced E-Team grants.


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $19600.00

Proposal seeks support to create an internet business providing tutorial information in a customized format utilizing a streaming data approach. Subject matter is extremely variable, the concept is a tool for delivery on a for fee as paid awaiting module. The team is in formation (student member) but has excellent advisors & would seems to be in a good position to implement this business strategy rapidly. Initial content for the 'tutorial' system would be in programming for ecommerce & is available to the team. Commercial prospects are bolstered by the previous business success of one team member and an advisors whose position in ACSIOM (Umass computer Sr Tech transfer) would be especially helpful. ITEM $ Requested $ Approved Web Hosting 2,000 2,000 ILS Software Training 2,000 2,000 Travel Expenses 3,000 3,000 Legal Fees 750 750 Phone / Long Distance / Internet Access 250 250 Third Party Interface Design 1,000 1,000 Narrative Services 500 500 Hardware for Multimedia Development (Digital Camera) 700 700 Hardware for Multimedia Development (MiniDisc Recorder) 500 500 Hardware for Multimedia Development (Multimedia Tower) 1,450 1,450 Software for Multimedia Development (Sound Editing Software) 400 400 Software for Multimedia Development (Graphics Editing Software) 300 300 Summer Internships (2) 3,500 3,500 Professional Consultants 400 400 Electronic Commerce Industy Reports 850 850 Trade Show Fees 2,000 2,000 $19,600 $19,600

Smart Product Design

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - $13500.00

For this project, Dartmouth College used NCIIA funds to purchase rapid prototyping equipment, leading to E-Teams’ development of mechatronic, or “smart product” ideas. The grant funds supported approximately sixty students, some working independently on E-Team projects, and some first and second-year students enrolled in ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering. All students were required to define a problem, brainstorm for a solution, test and prototype a design solution, and propose a commercialization strategy.

Introduction to Design and Inventive Engineering

This project supports a new course at George Mason University focused on team-based problem solving in a civil engineering context. In the course, E-Teams form and solve a pre-established problem, e.g., stormwater runoff pollution control in urban areas. Experts on the particular subject are brought in to consult to the E-Teams; these experts attend lectures, make class presentations, and interact with students on a regular basis. Students are encouraged to create innovative designs and aim for commercialization.

Invention and Entrepreneuring

University of Virginia-Main Campus - $3500.00

This course is for students who have taken a course in creative problem solving to apply what they have learned by inventing or developing a product or a process. In addition, students learn additional principles of entrepreneurship and hone their teamwork skills in E-Teams. The course is team taught by one professor in mechanical engineering and one from business management. Both have taught creative problem solving and model the process throughout the development of this interdisciplinary pilot course. The course is a one hour seminar and three hours of lab per week for student E-Teams to work on prototyping and patent searching. Students are drawn from engineering, computer science, and engineering management. Topics covered in the course include teamwork and communication, creative problem solving, patenting, entrepreneurship, and marketing. The course will teach an inventing process including problem identification, idea generation, feasibility study, design and specifications, and prototype construction and testing