June 2012 – Final Report

During the Fall semester (2011), we incorporated entrepreneurship modules to our new Biomedical Engineering course entitled Major Qualifying Project (MQP) Capstone Design.  This senior level course was taken by 29 biomedical engineering students.  Guest speakers, including Frank Hoy (Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at WPI), provided an overview of the field while other lectures provided more detailed information on specific areas.  Students presented an “elevator pitch” based on their senior engineering design project (MQP).  Because students used their MQP, they understood the background in regards to their project and could focus on the entrepreneurship and innovation that was present in their designs.  The course was considered a success based on student feedback (Table 1).

 

Question:

Average Score (from 1 to 5)

My overall rating of the quality of this course is:

4.37

My overall rating of the instructor's teaching is

4.50

The educational value of the assigned work was

4.28

Table 1. Example questions and scores from anonymous student feedback on BME430X (MQP Capstone Design). A total of 29 students participated in the course.

In addition, the knowledge gained through this program funded by the Coleman Foundation allowed Glenn Gaudette (Coleman Fellow) and Frank Hoy (Coleman Director) to put together (as Co-Investigators) an NSF IGERT proposal that was recently funded. This IGERT program, with total funds of almost $3M over 5 years, will allow WPI to develop a training program for PhD students that prepares them to think like entrepreneurs.