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James Madison University
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Since 2008, James Madison University has offered an interdisciplinary undergraduate engineering degree program emphasizing project-based learning and community engagement. Supported by a rich liberal arts foundation, the program focuses on sustainable design, project management, complex systems analysis, and features extended work on authentic engineering projects, including a year-long sophomore project, and multi-semester capstone.

Our department is known for its undergraduate mentoring, and we rely on faculty-student collaboration for departmental innovation. With over 500 students, sixteen faculty, and six staff members, our department’s mission is to nurture project-ready engineers who better industry, society, and the planet through responsible innovation.

Why We're In KEEN
As our engineering program was taking shape and developing in the late 00’s and early 10’s, we came across KEEN and we were immediately struck by its goals and the similarity to what we were trying to build.

That resonance in mission and approach continues to this day, as we work to develop the next generation of entrepreneurially-minded engineers. Our KEEN partnership affords our engineering program a vital network of like-minded academic peers, our faculty a network of colleagues eager to evolve engineering education, and our students a multitude of academic benefits.

Current Work
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset Development Through a Learning and Wellness Commons: Activities and events are organized by students, led by students, and for students. Coordinators help in managing the space, promoting collaboration, and also enable individual and group tutoring in areas of learning and wellness.

  • Sustainable Design and Entrepreneurship Through Product Dissection: An expansion of a senior engineering design course to include sustainable design and entrepreneurship as core themes. It embeds sustainability tools and concepts by equipping students with the knowledge and resources to take their sustainability-focused innovations to the next level.

  • The Development of an Entrepreneurial Mindset through the Lens of a Project-Based Student Competition Team: The Madison Aerospace Club responds to the challenge of designing and manufacturing a vehicle with a beacon location system that can autonomously navigate to a target on the water surface.

Previous Work

Featured Cards


KEEN has connected us with institutions that share our values. This keeps us on the cutting-edge of engineering education and serves as an important sounding board as we our program evolves. We want our graduates to be ready to be engineers in an uncertain world, and the engagement with KEEN helps make that happen.
--Dr. Bob Kolvoord, Dean, College of Integrated Science and Engineering
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Daniel Castaneda
published a card
Creating visual sketchnotes reinforces learning, reveals insights between ideas, and provokes new actions and directions.

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Daniel Castaneda 2 others
published a card
A sophomore-year engineering design project centered on creating an interactive physical prototype informed by community members' wants and needs.