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Entrepreneurially Minded Learning in a Semester-Long Senior/Graduate Mechatronic Design Project

[+] Author Affiliations
James A. Mynderse, Andrew L. Gerhart

Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI

Jeffrey N. Shelton

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. DSCC2017-5127, pp. V003T31A002; 8 pages
  • ASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 3: Vibration in Mechanical Systems; Modeling and Validation; Dynamic Systems and Control Education; Vibrations and Control of Systems; Modeling and Estimation for Vehicle Safety and Integrity; Modeling and Control of IC Engines and Aftertreatment Systems; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Their Applications; Dynamics and Control of Renewable Energy Systems; Energy Harvesting; Control of Smart Buildings and Microgrids; Energy Systems
  • Tysons, Virginia, USA, October 11–13, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5829-5
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


This paper describes ongoing progress in facilitating entrepreneurially minded learning through modifications to an existing senior/graduate level mechatronic design course. The semester-long design experience incorporates a prompted real-world problem intended to motivate the design and construction of a fully autonomous robotic vehicle. Introductory lectures and structured laboratory exercises are provided during the first half of the semester, while the remaining half-semester is allocated to team-based robot design and fabrication. Existing problem-based learning activities have been altered to increase student awareness of economic factors, encourage communication of project issues in economic terms, and promote customer engagement. To this end, project assignments were recast as business problems, with an increased emphasis on prototype and operating costs. Additionally, a customer (represented by the instructor) was created to engage with students. Project success has been indirectly assessed by surveying students as to how their actions align with characteristic entrepreneurial behaviors identified by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Design



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