This project incorporates E-Teams into a program focused on technical innovation. Drawing on students from business and technical disciplines and providing coursework in entrepreneurship and product development, a select group of students identified through a competition have the opportunity to pursue technology-based product and business concepts in a team setting. The curriculum is centered on a two-semester design sequence and a sequence of entrepreneurship courses offered in the business school. Interdisciplinary teams from the engineering and business schools form around product or business concepts. A previous emphasis on specific assistive and design projects for clients will be replaced by a more open-ended and commercial set of evaluation and development criteria.
UAB's current senior design curriculum is based on mechanical engineering design teams solving industrial-based problems. The problems are formulated by industrial clients who must be satisfied with the final product offered by the design team. This NCIIA-funded program keeps the current client/team format of the design process while adding to selected teams a business component comprised of a marketing team member from the MBA program or Engineering Management program at the UAB School of Business and a patent attorney mentor from the local community.
Projects selected for E-Team design must develop a business plan, conduct market research, and perform a patent search. The design team incorporates the business plan and results from the market analysis and patent research into product design. The team submits the written reports on the business plan, market analysis, and patent research, demonstrates how these plans and studies were incorporated into the product design, and explains how the design was affected by these inputs. The team also builds a prototype of the product and provides test information demonstrating its effectiveness in meeting the design goals