A Collaborative Effort to Integrate Engineering Design and Industrial Design Curricula for Entrepreneurial Technological Product Development

Northeastern University, 2006 - $5,000

In 2003, a NCIIA Course and Program grant provided Northeastern with the opportunity to redesign and restructure its entrepreneurial studies curriculum to respond to business and engineering faculty assessment. The assessment was instrumental in the formation of the School of Technological Entrepreneurship (STE), which integrates students from business, engineering, industrial design, and computer science in cross-discipline teams for innovation and enhanced learning. However, industrial and engineering design instruction is not fully integrated into the curriculum, and students may not collaborate on this critical aspect of product development until after graduation, when they are working in a commercial firm. This grant intends to fill the gap by developing a new curriculum that creates a cross-institutional collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Art.

The new curriculum will integrate the instruction of engineering and industrial design functions in two shared courses with MassArt, Introduction to Product Design and Capstone Product Design. In Introduction to Product Design, NU engineering design students and MassArt industrial design students will attend two lectures weekly and gain an appreciation of the industrial and engineering design tasks that must be performed concurrently during the development of a successful product. In the Capstone Product Design course, engineering and industrial design students will collaborate to produce a solution to a technical product need from problem analysis through prototype fabrication. Students will form a minimum of six teams, and will work with faculty mentors and alumni entrepreneurs.