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.
The Microprocessor Systems annual engineering course considers the interfacing between microprocessors and computers in general, which normally leads to communications with and control of many different types of physical devices and technologies. Students are required to consider all aspects of design, manufacture, and marketing. With NCIIA funding, two E-Teams have been generated in the class - Argus and EarTronX. Each E-Team was challenged to design a prototype device for locating lost hearing aids. Both prototype devices included a target in the hearing aid, and a locator implement. The E-Teams presented and discussed each prototype with five industry experts and entrepreneurs and submitted individual designs as a part of national and local competitions. The E-Teams plan to apply for Advanced E-Team funding.
For the past twenty-five years, Drexel's College of Engineering has required its students to take a Senior Project Design course, taught by a team of faculty from each engineering department save chemical engineering. Within the course, students work in teams, developing solutions to problems of practical and societal importance, while at the same time learning about intellectual property, ethics, professionalism, and design. What was missing from Drexel's Senior Project Design course, in the opinion of the professors, was an entrepreneurial component. With NCIIA funding, the engineering faculty team teaching the course were able to modify the class curriculum to include entrepreneurship by exposing students to entrepreneurial success stories from other engineers, and targeting E-Team projects with commercial potential for further project development.
Invention: Creative and Legal Perspectives is the first course on invention offered at Ramapo College. The course integrates students from a variety of disciplines, including science, business, and the arts. With a NCIIA grant, Professors Anderson and Sherman revised the curriculum to extend over two semesters. In the first semester, the professors divide students into teams of four and challenge each group to identify a problem in daily life and solve it with an inventive solution. Students begin this process by listing daily problems and annoyances they would like to eliminate. After this initial exercise, students then form new teams and work together on invention ideas culled from students and faculty. Each team applies its newly gained knowledge in the course to its own invention, constructively reducing the invention to practice. The goal of the course is to motivate students to invent and to supply them with the minimum legal and business know-how they need to produce, market, and protect an invention.
With NCIIA funding, Professors Timothy Stearns and Ed Sobey collaborated to create Invention and Entrepreneurship, a prototype for a permanent course challenging students to create a business to invent and sell toys. In the course, students from the Sid Craig School of Business, the schools of Education and Human Development, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Agriculture and Technology, and Arts and Humanities form E-Teams and learn how to work creatively in those teams, designing, building and testing mock-up toys, while developing a comprehensive business plan. The inventions and plans are presented to business leaders, venture capitalists, inventors, patent attorneys, and course participants.
The toys developed in the course include: Paragear, a launcher with a parachute attachment that fits to the back of an action figure; The Orb, a sphere that balances on a pedestal with pegs placed in the orb; The Ringer, a ring toss game that builds hand-eye coordination; and Stack-O, a marble game.
Student Originated Software (SOS) is a multi-disciplinary, year-long, full-time program offered each year at The Evergreen State College. In SOS, students gain the skills and in-depth practical experience of working in teams on the planning, management, design, implementation, and installation of a major software project by creating software for actual clients. Each E-Team organizes itself, finds its project and "real world" client, prepares a feasibility study, and completes the software development. SOS stresses innovation and creativity, and a multi-disciplinary approach to software development. NCIIA funding strengthens the market research portion of the curriculum, supports E-Team projects, and allows Evergreen to update equipment for the course.
Design and Management of Biomechanical Products is a popular course among students at Michigan State University. In the course, teams of engineering and marketing students study the technical feasibility and market need for their product ideas. The products the teams create must function mechanically with the body and provide tangible benefits for end users.
Some examples of student projects include: All-in One, an improved baby bottle with a vent to eliminate airlock and air bubbles; and Air-Form, a children's structural toy made from inflatable plastic. Before the class received NCIIA funding, students paid for prototyping and research costs with their own money, thereby limiting the scope of their projects. Funding allowed students to fabricate more sophisticated prototypes of their projects. In addition, funding purchased additional machines for the prototyping shop, to accommodate the increased number of E-Teams.
This grant helped introduce E-Teams into a design course focused on developing new technologies for people with disabilities. Teams of students worked with clients to create new assistive technologies to suit their client's needs. A seminar and practicum approach emphasizing teamwork made E-Teams central to the course pedagogy. Students were encouraged to pursue innovative solutions to design challenges
The Department of Technological Studies (DTS) of Wheeling Jesuit College offers a Bachelor of Science in Innovation and Technology. The major is designed to provide students with a broad range of knowledge, skills and experience in processes used to develop successful products for commercial markets. Innovation and Invention is a required class for the Innovation and Technology degree.
In the course, student groups form to design innovative products with commercial potential. Product Development Lab I is an extension of Innovation and Invention, offering students the opportunity to further develop those products. NCIIA funding allowed students to create prototypes of their products, and conduct market research. Student projects included a cold weather breathing mask, an improved automated garage door and opener, and a system for real-time readout of long distance telephone charges for home use.
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