Invention and Innovation in New Product Development: Freshman/Sophomore, Junior/Senior, Graduate Course Sequence

Missouri State University

In 1997, the Department of Mechanical Engineering launched its Managing New Product Development course. This graduate course is part of the Management of Technology Program at the University of California, Berkeley. It specifically aims to develop interdisciplinary skills in students, for successful product development in today's competitive marketplace. To accomplish a truly multi-disciplinary course experience, the course is cross-listed in three UC Berkeley Colleges including Architecture and Engineering, Business, and Information Management and Systems, and at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Students from these colleges team to work through all stages of new product development, learning useful tools and techniques to execute each step of the process. The course is extremely popular with students, and tends to over-enroll. However, although the course is successful, it has several limitations. One, the course does not support E-Team projects past the end of the semester; two, it does not provide students with seed money to cover project costs.

Drawing from lessons learned in the Managing New Product Development course, the principal investigators will develop two new courses, and improve the Managing New Product Development course. In all three courses, NCIIA funding will provide seed money for E-Team projects during the semester, and support for especially promising teams at the close of the semester. The first new course is called Designing Technology for Girls and Women. This lower division course will cover gender issues associated with new product development. In it, students will apply state-of-the-art information technology and new tools to tackle and design solutions to crucial societal problems where women are the end users. A major goal of the course is to motivate women students to persevere and thrive in engineering. Designing Technology for Women and Girls will work closely with the Institute of Women and Technology and companies within the San Francisco Bay area. The second new course, Introduction to Product Development, provides students with an operational experience in the development of innovative and realistic engineered problems. The course will introduce design concepts and techniques, and will guide students through the process of developing a design or feasibility study. Students will make both individual and group oral presentations, and participate in conferences