Fostering Innovation in Cornerstone Design Courses

Mary Kathryn Thompson
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Daejeon, Republic of Korea 305-701
Email: mkt@kaist.edu

Abstract
The boundaries between engineering design and business are becoming increasingly blurred and the need to produce innovative, entrepreneurial engineering students is growing. This work presents a model for encouraging innovation in a required cornerstone design course at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The opportunities for students to continue their work after the end of the semester are described and innovation indicators, such as publications and patents, which have resulted from the course are presented and discussed. It is shown that the faculty members’ comfort and familiarity with innovation, intellectual property, and entrepreneurship are a major factor in whether or not one or more patents are filed based on student projects. It is suggested that a follow up course on innovation and entrepreneurship may help to incubate promising student projects while increasing faculty and TA knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship and establishing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at KAIST and in Korea.

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