Elizabeth Kisenwether

Elizabeth C. Kisenwether is Assistant Professor and Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship (E-SHIP) minor in the College of Engineering at Penn State University. She holds her B.S.E.E. degree from Penn State, and M.S.E.E. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Johns Hopkins University. After eleven years with HRB Systems/Raytheon, she co-founded and worked for five years with a high-tech startup that developed digital video add-in cards/modules for portable computers. Since joining Penn State in 1999, Kisenwether has taught design-focused courses in three engineering departments: the School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs and the Engineering Entrepreneurship (E-SHIP) minor. She supported the launch of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) at Penn State, as well as the NSF-sponsored Hybrid and Electric Vehicle M3 (Manipulatives, Motivation and Mentoring) Education Project. She is president and founder of KidTech, Inc., a non-profit engineering outreach company developing hands-on design and problem-based learning kits and activities for K-12 youth.


Elizabeth Kisenwether has applied for and been awarded 2 grants

  • Market-Pull Technology Commercialization Team (TC Team) Course Sequence

    Began July, 2003 and ended July, 2004

    At the core of each technology entrepreneurship student’s new project/product/service concept is intellectual property (IP). Students involved in Penn State’s entrepreneurship programs (undergraduate and graduate) take courses that cover IP management, and learn early that IP is a highly valuable asset. Penn State's organized research expenditures totaled $507 million in fiscal 2002. In essence, Penn State students are immersed in hundreds of potentially high-value IP concepts, located across 216 Penn State Research Centers, but currently no path exists to bring students into the technology transfer process in a cost effective, board-based approach. Three technology commercialization problems currently exist, with three proposed solutions: 1. Current technology transfer process is largely technology-push. Solution: move to market-pull technology transfer, where high-tech company needs, market understanding and vision pull in IP to grow new products, increase revenues and create jobs. 2. Technology transfer office is ever increasing, but with manpower limited. Solution: Empower and support the tech transfer process with student Technology Commercialization Teams (TC Teams) to be transfer agents who work with and compliment the tech transfer office. 3. No scalable education program exists for effective technology transfer. Solution: develop course in which students gain skills/knowledge to be effective market-pull technology transfers agents. This list shows there is a significant need to optimize use of university resources and student teams for cross-disciplinary experiential learning and innovative IP leverage. The proposed Market-Pull Technology Commercialization Team (TCT) Course Sequence addresses this need, with benefits to all stakeholders: students, institutions, companies, researchers, and investors.

    With the team:

    • Elizabeth Kisenwether
    • Robert Killoren Assistant Vice President for Research, Office of Sponsored Programs, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
  • Lion Launch Pad - Center for Penn State Student Entrepreneurship

    Began December, 2008 and ended December, 2009

    Lion Launch Pad (Lion LP), Center for Penn State Student Entrepreneurship, is requesting $40,000 of NCIIA funding to support the start of the program to its main objectives through the first two years of operation: • Establish Lion LP as a combination of on-campus office space, serving approximately 10 teams, and access to all other Lion LP teams to a local/state-wide/national/international mentoring network. • Inspire and support students in their pursuit of entrepreneurship, working with student teams as they transform concepts developed in the classroom into sustainable and operating non-/for-profit business models. • Broaden the entrepreneurship community and culture at Penn State through cross-campus events, programs, and other opportunities to involve students – from first-year undergraduates to graduate students. The NCIIA funding will take entrepreneurship at Penn State “the next level” as we enter the second decade of entrepreneurship efforts.

    With the team:

    • Elizabeth Kisenwether
    • Dr. John McKee Lead Contract Admin./College of Eng., College of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
    • Ms. Christine Wilson Assoc. Coordinator, Grants and Contracts, College of Engineering, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
    • Dr. Dhushy Sathianathan Dept. Head, School of Engineering Design, School of Engineering Design, Technology and Prof. Programs, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus