Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship, Application & Systems Studio courses

IDEAS Studio courses are semester-long courses for entrepreneurially minded students. Each course focuses on using engineering design to solve real-world, open-ended problems, understanding customer value propositions, learning to be responsive to customer/client needs, and identifying markets. 

Content is driven by real design problems informed by industry and other for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, making each studio inherently project-based as students work through hands-on design projects.

IDEAS Studio 1: Product Archeology

Product Archeology is a pedagogical technique for reconstructing the decision-making processes of a company. Students receive a product and must unearth the business decisions in moving a concept to the market. In the first half of the class, teams put themselves in the shoes of the company approximately five years before the product launch. The challenge is to excavate information on topics such as consumer trends, budgets, supply chains, stakeholder analysis, intellectual property, manufacturing, market dynamics, technical design and packaging and distribution. Just as in real archeology, students use the data to piece together how the company made decisions. In the second half of the class, teams produce a series of concepts for improving upon, or changing, the value proposition of the product. They then select one based upon the value to the various stakeholders and then generate a proposal for implementation. Throughout the course there are four targeted entrepreneurial characteristics: Resourcefulness, Decision Making, Empathy and Systems Thinking.

IDEAS Studio 2: Building the Case for Your Idea

This course covers what you need to know to develop an idea so you can share it with others effectively. The elements of this studio relate to opportunity recognition, ideation, basic market analysis, basic design (including design for manufacture) and intellectual property, with the bulk of the content focusing on computer aided design (CAD) and fabrication/prototyping techniques.

IDEAS Studio 3: Concept to Commercialization

This course focuses on using engineering design to solve real-world, open-ended problems, understanding customer value propositions, learning to be responsive to customer/client needs and identifying markets. The course provides students with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a workforce that demands multidisciplinary innovation to address challenging technical themes and to create viable technology that contributes to the greater good. The course is inherently project-based as students work through hands-on design projects that entail multiple links to the entrepreneurial mindset. Students identify technical problems from high-level user needs and design solutions that pose a meaningful customer value proposition. You will fabricate, test and validate your designs while also performing market analysis. You'll have real clients with real needs, real timelines, real constraints and real uncertainties.

IDEAS Studio 4: Creative Systems Design

Explore various creativity methods in the context of systems design. Gain hands-on design and prototyping experience with various types of components and systems such as actuators, sensors and microcontrollers. Throughout the course, you will consider the influence of technical and nontechnical decisions on economics, markets, consumers and society and learn how to better recognize nascent opportunities that can be addressed by technology. Creativity methods you will explore include the six hats, painstorming and TRIZ. Many projects in the course are related to industrial clients, but there may also be opportunities for students to explore their own entrepreneurial ideas. 

IDEAS Studio 5: Should We Start This Company?

Generate ideas for new products or services that will have value in the marketplace, and learn technological product or service design and development through business planning. You will develop a full business strategy including a business and model, feasibility evaluation and implementation timeline for your own business idea, and aspects of a business plan for a "client." As part of the process, you'll identify a customer base, conduct market research and consider how your product or service will be viewed in a societal context. The course includes a presentation of the groups' business ideas to investors and judges (business pitch competition), and groups use feedback and knowledge gained from these presentations, their peers, and relevant consultations to make a final report including an analysis of the business' potential for success.

IDEAS Trans-disciplinary Senior Design

The IDEAS Senior Design is a two course sequence in which students work on interdisciplinary teams to develop an engineered product for an external client. Potential clients are local or national industry partners. Students carry the project from identifying the problem through demonstrating a working prototype. At all phases of development, you'll need to clearly articulate the value proposition when considering alternative approaches and designs.