This grant project introduces an E-Team approach to the Computer Science Department's Senior Project class, with the objective of ultimately merging the class with the combined Electrical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering course supported by previous NCIIA grants. The teams will develop, prototype and lay out a business strategy for their ideas in the spring semester. The teams will have mentoring faculty with a specialty in the area of development, active mentoring from an outside industry advisor, and access to extensive on-campus computing resources. Teams will present their ideas at the end of the course
With NCIIA grant funding, a new product design course was created at the University of Nevada/Reno by Professors M.S. Fadali and R.C. Barnes. By combining EE 491 Senior Design and MGRS 487 Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship and Senior Design course prepares students for today's marketplace. Within the course, multi-disciplinary groups of engineering and business students form companies and are asked to build a product and investigate its market potential. To provide students with a concise but clear representation of the organization required to accomplish this task, students use the "Hierarchical Process Modeling" (HPM). HPM requires the collection of considerable information, yielding insights into the operation and potential of an organization as a whole. NCIIA funding provided students with HPM software and equipment, prototype development money, and legal assistance with patent searches.
Mechanical Engineering 452: Design Synthesis is an existing senior design course at University of Nevada/Reno. In the past, the course has focused on teaching students the fundamentals of product development. With NCIIA funding, the course has been revised to include product innovation, elements of entrepreneurship and invention, and early stage E-Teams, modeled after Professor John Kleppe's well-structured Electrical Engineering E-Team class at UNR. Each E-Team functions as a start-up company, creating their own organizational structure, and submitting a pseudo-business license. The teams then construct a proposal detailing the team's ideas and begin product development. Student teams compete within the class and are evaluated on their commercial potential as well as their technical content.
This course is a renewal and expansion of NCIIA grants MGRS 487 Entrepreneurship/ EE491 Senior Design and the previously funded MECH 452: Design Synthesis. The course has produced several high quality E-Teams and businesses. An interdisciplinary program, it is offered to mechanical and electrical engineers, emphasizing product development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Students are divided into "companies" and develop new products or prove new technologies that will subsequently be marketed or licensed. Guest lecturers from industry discuss various topics including intellectual property, venture capital, inventing, and entrepreneurship. This course is also taken for credit by MBA students who help the E-Team develop business plans. Each E-Team must develop a working prototype. Funding is for direct use by each team for product development and marketing