Lawrence Technological University finished in second place in the 2016 Innovation Encounter, a program of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network.
Five schools involved in the KEEN program, which seeks to incorporate entrepreneurial thinking into engineering curricula, participated this year. Besides Lawrence Tech, they were Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass., which finished in first place; Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio, which finished in third place; Kettering University, Flint; and the University of New Haven, West Haven, Conn.
This year’s Innovation Encounter was sponsored by Ford Motor Co. Ford representatives at the two-day event Oct. 21-22 were Eric Levine, manager of autonomous vehicle planning; Lon Zaback, manager of global design planning and strategy; James Carlu, BSEE’02, manager of global design planning and strategy; Elizaveta Bodarenko, BSTD’16, and Andrew Dawson, BSTD’16.
Andrew Gerhart, LTU professor of mechanical engineering, delivered a workshop on creativity and problem solving development Oct. 21. Ford presented an industry problem involving autonomous vehicles to the participants on Friday evening. The teams were assigned a work space in the engineering building. They worked on developing a solution to the problem and presented it to a panel of judges from Ford the afternoon of Oct. 22. The judges used a rubric to determine the winners.
Each team was presented with trophy that was designed and built by the students from the makeLab in LTU’s College of Architecture and Design. Also, each team will receive a cash award. This is the seventh year the Innovation Encounter has been held.
LTU faculty and staff participating in the event included Ahad Ali, LTU associate professor and director of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in industrial engineering; Cristi Bell-Huff, director of the LTU Studio for Entrepreneurial Engineering Design; Katie Jolly, entrepreneurship coordinator in LTU’s Office of the Provost; Heidi Morano, project engineer of the SEED; and Donald Reimer, LTU college professor of engineering. Also participating were members of LTU’s EMpwr student entrepreneurial group.
The next Innovation Encounter will be held Oct. 20-21, 2017.
More about KEEN at http://engineeringunleashed.com/keen/. KEEN is a program of the Waukesha, Wis.-based Kern Family Foundation.