Asad Sahir

Asad Hasan Sahir

Chemical Engineering/College of Engineering

2010-2011

“Inspirations for Innovation” –
Development of a course framework for undergraduate students


Faculty Mentor:  JoAnn S. Lighty & Terry A. Ring - Chemical Engineering/College of Engineering

 

Innovation can be defined as the application of new ideas to the products, processes, or other aspects of the activities of a firm that lead to increased “value” [1]. The necessity for educating engineers at the graduate level on managing the innovation process has been identified by engineering schools like MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Duke [2]. Similarly, a curricular framework has been conceptualized for undergraduate engineering students who contribute significantly to the workforce driving innovation. The subject of innovation traditionally has been a concern of business and technology leaders in an organization and is extensively discussed and dealt with in business school curricula. The central theme of the proposed course framework is to inform the interested undergraduate student about the important interconnections behind an innovative process or product, formed by an amalgamation of scientific and technological breakthroughs, novel marketing strategies and societal and public policy issues.

 

The study of innovation is a broad field which encompasses many disciplines other than engineering and sciences - (e.g. Sociology, Public Policy, Business History, Organization Behavior and Marketing). In this project, a course framework has been designed by identifying appropriate readings suitable for undergraduate students. The framework also includes suggestions on the teaching methodology, syllabus plan, and assignment structure. The process enables interested departments to accordingly customize a portion of the course material according to their role on innovation. An opportunity to identify strategies to focus on extending the competitive spirit in the undergraduate classroom towards a broader global context is also identified.

 

The conceptual framework developed in this project will be offered to the Department of Chemical Engineering for consideration as a probable elective course. It is expected that the concept will find merit in implementation as a course provided by the College of Engineering considering the efforts presently underway in identifying suitable avenues of integrating engineering and business courses at the University of Utah. A course developed on the basis of the framework can be assessed by a 360 degree feedback assessment consisting of student evaluation, and classroom and lecture observations by interested faculty members and reviewers from CTLE, University of Utah.

 

Asad Sahir - TA Scholars Poster
  1. Greenhalgh, C., Rogers, M. (2010), Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Economic Growth, Princeton University Press.

  2. “Educating Engineers for the New Market”, February 27, 2007, Bloomberg Businessweek. (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2007/tc20070227_575917.htm)