Applied research. Close industry partnerships. LTU can transform a student’s passion for technology and design into a unique ability to deliver inspired innovation. With 80 years of experience in educating successful engineers, LTU strives to give students the tools and practical experience they need to enter the engineering profession or pursue an advanced degree. LTU’s accredited programs provide students with a strong foundation in the fundamentals of engineering in an environment infused with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Partnering with other KEEN universities provides LTU faculty opportunities to share best practices, build relationships, and improve their entrepreneurially minded pedagogy. It also provides students the opportunity to work with students at similar universities in competitions, workshops, and the EMPwr student organization. Together, LTU and KEEN are changing engineering education in the US to graduate engineers prepared to face the technological and economic challenges of this century and to keep the US at the forefront of technological innovation in today’s global economy.
Being part of the Network has made a huge difference in the education of every single one of our engineering students at Lawrence Tech. Students that graduate today are better equipped to make a difference in the world than students who graduated 10 years ago.
--Maria Vaz, Provost, Lawrence Technological University
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Students use the design process at a local nonprofit to create value for users
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Gathering customer feedback is easy...gathering customer feedback that will result in informed design decisions is not. Sophomore engineering students working on authentic projects to design a device for a real-world customer need to learn how to identify the 'right' questions to ask their customers at multiple points in the engineering design process. Questions that will fill the gaps in their knowledge of the problems that they are attempting to develop solutions for. Solutions that will create value - not defined by the instructor, but defined by the customer as it meets the customer's previously unmet needs.
This card has been developed within a cohort of three instructors from Lawrence Technological University (author), Michigan Technological University (@Amlan Mukherjee) and Florida Gulf Coast University (@Lisa Zidek) that participated in the 2019 KEEN Faculty Development Workshop, Teaching With Impact: The Problem-Solving Studio. See the card Teaching Engineers to Have Meaningful Conversations with Customers/Stakeholders for the description/applications specific to each course/university.
Course and Course Structure
EGE 2123 - Entrepreneurial Engineering Design Studio is a sophomore level course in a sequence of EML core courses offered at Lawrence Technology University. Four sections are taught each semester. Each semester 65-80 students participate in the design studio. In this project based course, students work on teams of 3-4 and work through each step of the design process around a design theme. The current theme is “Accessibility in the Workplace.” Students identify opportunities to solve problems for real customers at a local non-profit. An emphasis is placed on creating solutions based on customers’ needs. Finally, students design, build, and test working prototypes that create value for these customers.
(A complete course description with all of the course learning objectives and related course materials can be found on the card Building Solutions for Real Customers.)
The content of this card will focus on customer engagement and gathering customer feedback. Communication with the customer to obtain feedback at multiple stages
in the structured design process is invaluable and takes place at site
visits during scheduled class time. The customer site visits occur at the following milestones in the design process:
Week 2: Painstorming and Opportunity Identification
Week 4: Project Pitch and Determining Customer Needs through Outcome-Driven Innovation
Week 6: Final Concept Selection with Small-scale Mock-up Prototypes
At each of these meetings with the customer, student teams need to collect relevant feedback and integrate that feedback with information already collected to make informed design decisions. Folders below contain all of the PowerPoint presentation slides and handouts relevant to each of the above customer interactions.
Initial Project Guidelines
in part, on K.T. Ulrich and S.D. Eppinger, Product
Design and Development, 2012)
The product should have demonstrable value
based on customer needs.
The product should be a material good, not a
service. You must produce and test a working prototype.
The product should have a high likelihood of
containing fewer than 10 components.
You should be confident of being able to build
the final prototype for less than $150.
The product should require no basic
Entrepreneurial Mindset and the KEEN Framework
• CURIOSITY - Where is the opportunity in the
context of the customers needs to create value/reduce pain? How to go
about inquiring to 'know what we don't know' about the customer?
• CONNECTIONS - Develop a process for integrating customer feedback into input for future design decisions.
• CREATING VALUE - Student teams empathize
with and understand the perspectives of their stakeholders to assess and
manage risk in concept development.