Integrating entrepreneurship into engineering education


Published on

This paper proposes general framework for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering educational system

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Integrating entrepreneurship into engineering education

  1. 1. Integrating Entrepreneurship into Engineering Education In Muslim Higher Learning Institutions Marwa Yousif Hassan1 Abdi O. Shuriye2 Abstract. engineering services is and will continue be available Negative economic growth, corrupt governments, and global financial crisis; have attributed to chronic poverty in diverse nations in the world. In fact, this has triggered the Arab uprising, labor strikes and daily common unrest in the west. There must be a solution and not empty promises of creating new jobs and getting people employed that governments have made for ages. To promote entrepreneurship for young generation and integrating these skills into the educational system is one solution. Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur, being innovator and introducing new ideas in business. The effort to transform innovation into economic goods and forming new organizations is what we are discussing. The traditional way of engineering education which focuses on technical activities or issues associated with product, service and design has to be reevaluated to include entrepreneurship and business activities. This paper discuses the issue of entrepreneurial engineering education and its importance in economic development in Muslim higher learning institutions. Integrating entrepreneurship into engineering education is an imperative domain of technological development for the Muslims’ world. The paper proposes general framework for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering educational system. from low-cost providers that can and will be located I- anywhere in the world and can easily be accessed through current communications means. Engineering education therefore has to add value beyond just teaching skills. That skill is or will become a commodity does, of course, not mean that future engineers do not have to possess skills. Quite the contrary, they will have to be even more technically proficient than those making a living today practicing narrowly defined tasks [3]. While certain basics of engineering will not change, the global economy and the way engineers will work will reflect an ongoing evolution that began to gain momentum a decade ago. The economy in which we will work will be strongly influenced by the global marketplace for engineering services, a growing need for interdisciplinary and system-based approaches, demands for ―customization‖, and an increasingly diverse talent pool. Challenges will abound, but Introduction The intense discussions that are currently taking place opportunities also will exist if engineering takes the among leaders of the engineering profession and initiative to prepare for the future. [2] educators suggest that innovation will be a central II- Opportunities and Challenges theme. In today’s interconnected globalized world, Facing the Engineering Profession skill in the 21st Century is becoming a commodity and routine 1- Postgraduate (Masters) student , Kulliah of Engineering, IIUM 2- Associate Professor, Kulliah of Engineering, IIUM
  2. 2. The Systems Perspective: In the past, steady strategy that combines mass customization with increases in knowledge have spawned new micro customized marketing. This will demand the disciplines (e.g., social interaction of engineers with customers, microelectronics, photonics, and biomechanics). even more than today, belying the image of the However, challenges—from engineer as the techie nerd and demanding that biomedical devices to complex manufacturing engineers have well-developed people skills. designs to large systems of networked devices— New tools in manufacturing and production, new increasingly perspective. knowledge about the products being produced and Systems engineering is based on the principle that the customers that use them, and the ease with structured methodologies can be used to integrate which components and technologies. The systems transferred will enable the creation of products perspective is one that looks to achieve synergy and services that are uniquely designed for the and harmony among diverse components of a user. If this is the world that emerges, present larger theme. Hence, there is a need for greater concerns about outsourcing of low-wage, mass- breadth so that broader requirements can be production manufacturing jobs may be misplaced. addressed. Many believe this necessitates new Instead, the concern should be about creating a ways of doing engineering [2]. workforce and business environment that prospers Working in Teams: The importance of adopting in a mass-production-less economy. Engineers effective interdisciplinary team building strategies will be central to such a workforce, but what they has recently been recognized by engineering will need to know and do [2]. professionals. III- assembled within engineering contemporary require These and a systems strategies developed have through been other disciplines such as business, psychology, and other human sciences. For engineering, effective multicultural team building is a critical success factor in a system- based engineering environment. Customerization: The explosion in knowledge sharing, coupled with advances in technology, information and products buyer-centric business be The Muslim Engineer of the 21st Century: Aspired Attributes It seems to me that anyone who would call himself college educated —particularly anyone who would call himself a professional— should spend some time in close communion with the great souls, the great thinkers, the great artists, of our civilization. Most particularly, those engineers who would be leaders, Those who would participate in the important communal debates should be acquainted with the thoughts, theories, and philosophies that constitute the foundations of our culture. will provide the ability to achieve a new era in customerization—a can The Civilized Engineer, Samuel C. Forman
  3. 3. In this section, we would like to borrow some of the survive attributes that were aspired by the National Academy environment like the one of the 21st of Engineering (NAE) of the US, in their report ―The century. Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the new  Century, 2004‖; these attributes are:  in a highly competitive Leadership: In preparation for business and management, engineers must understand the principles of leadership and of the important attributes for engineers of be able to practice them in growing today as well as for the engineer of the proportions as their careers advance. One future. of the most important qualities of a leader Practical ingenuity: these include the is a clear, inspiring vision. Muslim leaders skills  Strong analytical skill: will remain one should relate their visions to the creator of in planning, combining, and everything, to Allah. In this way, the adapting,  and leaders and followers strengthen their diversity of technologies and systems relationship with Allah, while practicing grow in the 21st century, the importance their everyday responsibilities. Creativity: as the complexity of a creative engineer will also grow. This  High Ethical Standard and Strong engineer will appreciate the growing importance of interdisciplinary interaction to possess these qualities not only to and cooperation. become effective and authentic leaders, Communication: In the new century, but also productive professionals. A engineers  Sense of Professionalism: Engineers need Muslim engineer in particular needs to need to interact and communicate convincingly with different parties and to shape their opinions and standards as it is about to what extent a attitudes. These include interdisciplinary good Muslim he has become, as the hadith teams, globally diverse team members, of Prophet Mohammed peace be upon him public officials, and a global customer stated: ―Verily Allah loves any one base.  adopt amongst you, who when he undertakes a Business and management: Engineers job, need to know how to manage and motivate (Professionally)‖. their employees. They need to know how to get business running, but also how to  high carries Dynamism, ethical it out Agility, and with professional al- Resilience, itqan and Flexibility: Not only will technology
  4. 4. change quickly in the 21st century, the degree, depending on the course content social-political-economic world in which and reflecting the career aspirations of the engineers work will change continuously. student. In this context it will not be this or that particular knowledge that engineers will  Engineering accreditation bodies in need but rather the ability to learn new things quickly and the ability to apply accreditation of engineering programs of knowledge to new problems and new the same name at the baccalaureate and contexts. graduate levels in the same department to Lifelong Learning: Engineers will need recognize this not only because technology will ―professional‖ master’s degree produces change quickly but also because the career  Muslims an AME, an accredited ―master‖ engineer. countries that should education allow through a trajectories of engineers will take on many more directions—directions that include  Whatever other creative approaches are different parts of the world and different taken types of challenges and that engage curriculum, the essence of engineering— different types of people and objectives. the Hence, predicting performance, building, and to be individually/personally st in the iterative four-year process of engineering designing, successful, the engineer of the 21 century testing—should be taught from the earliest will learn continuously throughout his or stages of the curriculum, including the her career, not just about engineering but first year. also about history, politics, business, and so forth.  The engineering education establishment, For the engineering graduates to acquire these for example, the Engineering Deans qualities, the National Academy of Engineering Council, should endorse research in (NAE) has suggested some guidelines for Educating engineering education as a valued and the Engineer of the 21st Century. Some of these rewarded activity for engineering faculty guidelines and recommendations are: as a means to enhance and personalize the  The baccalaureate degree should be connection to undergraduate students, to recognized as the ―pre engineering‖ understand how they learn, and to degree or Bachelor of Arts in engineering
  5. 5. appreciate the pedagogical approaches that IV- excite them.  Engineer: appointments, and expectations, for example, to require experience as a practicing engineer, and should create or adapt development programs to support the professional growth of engineering faculty. In this section we would like to highlight the experience of a world- class organization that has successfully integrated entrepreneurship within its network of about 20 universities at the undergraduate level in the United States of America. This organization is Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN), which is a collaboration of U.S. mindset in undergraduate engineering and technology As well as delivering content, engineering how to learn, and must play a continuing role along with professional organizations in facilitating lifelong learning, perhaps through offering ―executive‖ technical degrees similar to executive MBAs. Engineering schools interdisciplinary learning in students. KEEN’s mission is to graduate engineers who will contribute to business success and in the process transform the American workforce [5]. This mission is further clarified by KEEN’s student outcomes; specifically, the engineering graduate of a KEEN university must possess soft skills as well as technical skills. These soft skills such as teamwork, introduce the undergraduate environment, rather than having it as an exclusive feature of the graduate programs.  and universities that strive to instill an entrepreneurial schools must teach engineering students  Benchmarking identifying good practices Colleges and universities should develop new standards for faculty qualifications,  Developing the Entrepreneurial creative thinking, communications, and lifelong learning among others, are imperative attributes of an entrepreneurial engineer. KEEN emphasizes its efforts in undergraduate engineering students due to its philosophy that introducing entrepreneurship early is more effective and results in more created ventures. Engineering educators should explore the development of case studies of engineering successes and failures and the appropriate use of a case-studies approach in undergraduate and graduate curricula. What to Benchmark? Subsequently, we try to identify good practices regarding the integration of entrepreneurship education in KEEN’s universities by investigating three main areas: 1- The measures they use to instill an entrepreneurial spirit into their engineering
  6. 6. graduates, 2- Teaching methods and pedagogical It has been shown by Caroline Verzat and Rémi contents they use to build an entrepreneurial Bachelet [7] that the awakening of an entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, and 3- The measures they use spirit to commercialize researches carried out within the management experience during the first two years of network. These three areas will constitute the main an undergraduate program. They have noticed in an points of our general framework for incorporating exploratory research entrepreneurship within engineering education in engineers embarking the setting up of a business had Muslim countries. been in a decisive leader position within their can be achieved that by hands-on most project newly trained innovation project team. Also they have found that 1- Instilling an Entrepreneurial Spirit: KEEN universities have innovated many ways to through instill entrepreneurial mindset in their engineering internships, and activities in associations, the young undergraduates. One of them has been suggested by student will progressively understand what he or she two engineering professors from the University of is capable of, which will help him or her to choose Detroit Mercy [6]; who have developed a number of orientations for the future [7]. technical entrepreneurship case studies that are Two courses were developed within KEEN network designed to be integrated into existing engineering that seem to be aiming at engaging the hearts and fundamentals courses. These case studies are intended souls of the undergraduates before their minds. Both to provide engineering students with entrepreneurial of them use innovative teaching methods and a role models and to show the would be engineers how team- based project that introduces students at early those undergraduate years to the fun and innovative sides of model engineers have capitalized their pre-professional experiences such as knowledge of specific engineering topic -covered in product design and/ or realization. typical undergraduate courses- to create successful The first course was developed in Worcester business ventures. The aim is to repeatedly showcase Polytechnic Institute. Its intent is to foster an successful engineering entrepreneurs and to provide entrepreneurial mindset in every graduate and to raise routine exposures to principles of entrepreneurship students’ awareness that commercialization is part of throughout the curriculum. Each case uses a set of the technological innovation process. The course is PowerPoint slides with embedded video clips telling a taught using several Harvard Business School (HBS) documentary of the entrepreneur’s story and it is cases which is an unusual way of teaching designed to be covered in one lecture. Strong ties introductory engineering courses. HBS cases are real between the technical content of the case and the life case studies distributed by Harvard Business technical subject being taught has been developed [6]. School Publishing, and are developed in all media
  7. 7. format including text, videos, and audio. They cover activities. Curricular refers to those activities which all Business and management areas of study such as take place inside the classroom, such as courses, marketing, finance, sales, etc. Specific HBS cases modules and case studies. Co-curricular activities are were selected to represent each functional area (for the exploratory opportunities that take place outside example: marketing) grounded in either Innovation or the classroom and are related to the subject being Technical challenge. Students are given a team taught in the educational institutions, such as project that focuses on developing an innovation plan. workshops, seminars, and projects. Extra-curricular Students teams, comprised of about five students activities are the experiential opportunities that take each, are asked to develop an innovation plan to a place outside the classroom and may also take place specified problem. The students suggest a solution to outside the educational institution, such as business the specific problem and then describe how they plan competitions, technology competitions, and would realize it [8]. internships [11]. The other course which was developed in Santa Clara Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH) University, implements a stock market concept into of the University of Maryland, one of the KEEN an engineering product design course. It uses a universities, has implemented all above strategies to project-based learning activity. The team-based build course project was developed to serve as a fun and engineering and technology graduates. They have engaging mechanism for encouraging strong student created performance throughout the duration of an eleven- innovation program for freshmen & sophomores and week course [9]. Also, it is worth mentioning that also have another living–learning program for senior creating an entrepreneurial culture in a university undergraduates, in addition to the young scholar’ can be an accelerating factor for the integration of summer program for high school students and entrepreneurship into its educational system. This postgraduate & professional certificates in technology culture can be created by many ways; including for ventures and innovation. For the living component of example creating an entrepreneurship club for the the living-learning Honors academic programs all students, and starting a monthly speaker series [10]. students reside in an exclusive program residence hall the a entrepreneurial living-learning knowledge of entrepreneurship their and for two years. Through company creation, impact 2- Building an entrepreneurial knowledge and skills: seed funds, courses, seminars, workshops, competitions, on-site coaching and mentoring, and An entrepreneurial knowledge can be built through entrepreneurial internships, students are part of a Curricular, Co-curricular and Extra-curricular special experiential learning model. The academic
  8. 8. component of the Program includes four courses ideas that have no or little concerns of the market. A totaling nine credits, with all students enrolling in one business focus based on market need is often called course per semester for each of their four semesters in market pull because of its reliance on the market’s the program. A core goal of the Entrepreneurship and desire for a specific benefit to be met through an Innovation Program is to infuse students with that expansion of state-of-the-art technology. In market knowledge and its accompanying skills. The mission pull, the customers are ready and you must deliver the of the living- learning programs is to foster an technology. In technology push, on the other hand, entrepreneurial spirit, create a sense of community the presence of customers is questionable even if you and cooperation, and develop ethical leaders [12]. can deliver the technology. The key to launching a 3- Research commercialization successful technical start-up is to make maximum use An entrepreneurial research university is the one in of any proprietary technology that can be developed which research and the technology developed within while, at the same time, focusing on market is commercialized. Research commercialization can opportunities. This is called a market- and customer- be in the form of startup, corporate venture, or via driven technology-fueled strategy [14]. license transfer through the university’s technology Following transfer office (TTO) [13]. If the technology implementation of the Product Realization Process developed is realized into unique products that (PRP) into engineering capstone courses offered customers will purchase, satisfying a vital market through the Innovation Center at the University of need, the university’s commercialization efforts is in Dayton School of Engineering- a KEEN member the right track. However, engineers tend to neglect university, the essence of a successful business which is commercialization, and delivering benefits to customers which involve team design projects feature an emphasis on marketing knowledge and market research [14]. innovation, A business focus based on technology is often called business. PRP includes determining the customer’s a technology push because of its reliance on the new needs, technology to push customers into a new market. conceptual designs, and designing the final product as Engineers, especially, are likely to have ideas for well as its support processes (fig. 1). PRP products never before imagined which require huge methodology had been integrated into the curriculum efforts in marketing and educating people about the using the industry sponsored projects. Those projects benefits of the new product and ultimately convincing have two main objectives: 1- to develop a prototype them to buy it. This delays the profitability of new of the design, and 2- to write a business plan that can is the experience related to the in an effort related to research where industry sponsored entrepreneurship developing and specifications, developing generating
  9. 9. be used by an entrepreneur to seek funding and perhaps start a business [15]. Fig. 1: Gantt chart. General Product Realization Process into V- Conclusion projects or providing them with entrepreneurial internships. By benchmarking the case of Kern Entrepreneurship 2- Build an entrepreneurial knowledge and Education Network (KEEN), a general framework skills, through Curricular, Co-curricular, and has finally emerged. To integrate entrepreneurship Extra-curricular activities. into engineering education in the Muslims countries we need to: 3- Research commercialization, by incorporating Product Realization Process ―PRP‖ in the engineering design courses’, and emphasizing a 1- Instill an entrepreneurial spirit by building an entrepreneurial culture within the engineering faculty, developing entrepreneurial engineering role models, and acquiring early hands-on experience by involving undergraduate students Market-driven, commercialization strategy. technology-fueled
  10. 10. Fayolle Alain and Klandt Heinz, published References: 1- A. Brent Strong, “The Two Cultures: the by Edward Elgar publishing limited, 2006. Gap”, 8- Gretar Tryggvason, Jerome J. Schaufeld, and McRae C. Banks, ―Teaching Engineering index.php, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Early in Bridging 2- “The Engineer of 2020:Visions of Engineering in the New Century”, National Academy of Engineering NAE (US), 2004, 3- Gretar Tryggvason and Diran Apelian, ―Re- the The Curriculum‖, Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, July, 2010. 9- Christopher Kitts, ―Practitioner’s Tool Kit: A Stock Market Mechanism for Reinforcing Engineering Engineering Education for the Entrepreneurial Learning Objectives in Challenges of the 21st Century”, JOM, the Hands-on, Team-Based Projects‖, The member journal of the minerals, metals, and Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, materials, October, 2006, July, 2010. 4- “Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting 10- Tom Byers, ―Teaching Entrepreneurship to Engineering Education to the New Engineers and Scientists‖, a presentation of Century”, National Academy of Engineering Stanford NAE (US), 2005, (STVP), Stanford University, May, 2003, Technology Venture Program 5- KEEN website website: 6- Jonathan Weaver, ―Developing Engineers and Nassif Rayess Entrepreneurially by Incorporating Minded Technical tml. 11- Timothy J. Kriewall, and Kristen Mekemson, The ―Instilling the Entrepreneurial Mindset into Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, Engineering Undergraduates‖, The Journal winter, 2011. of Engineering Entrepreneurship, May, 2010. Entrepreneurship 7- Caroline Verzat ―Developing an Case and Studies‖, Rémi Bachelet, Entrepreneurial Spirit 12- James V. Launching Green, the ―Designing and Entrepreneurship and among engineering college students: what Innovation Living-Learning Program for are the educational factors?‖, a chapter in Freshmen and Sophomores‖, The Journal of the book "International Entrepreneurship Engineering Entrepreneurship, Winter, 2011 Education Issues and Newness‖ edited by 13- Kathleen R. Commercialization: Allen, Have ―Technology We Learned
  11. 11. Anything?‖ The Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, 2012. 14- Michael L. Baird, ―Starting a High- Tech Company‖, IEEE Engineers Guide to Business, IEEE, 1995. 15- Philip E. Doepker, ―Enhancing the Product Realization Process By emphasizing Innovation and Entrepreneurship‖ The Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship, 2010.