Instructor: Prof. M. Alger, Prof. C. Marone
Spring 2016
- 2 Credits

Meeting Times Mondays 3:45p - 5:00p in 240 Deike
Enrollment by permission of instructor, limited to 20 students.

Course Description - EME 597R/ENGR 597R

This course will provide students hands-on experience designing research programs to address external market needs that will lead to enhanced Penn State / external collaboration.  Prior to the beginning of the course program concepts will be developed with faculty stakeholders teams. Included in the program concept will be target industrial sponsor(s) / mentor with an interest in the program concept.  The course will use the framework from several Lean innovation processes: iCorp, Lean-Startup. The Business Model Canvas (BMC) will be used as an initial basis for sharing and communicating team progress.  Topics such as customer discovery, value proposition, business planning, financial analysis, and intellectual property will be covered.  This course will reverse the normal lean business creation process by using results and building a research program proposal to enable concept market commercialization with the sponsor organization.

Students will work in teams of ~4 on a program concept during the course.  Each team will engage in all steps of evaluating the program concept and will find, contact and interview external organizations, public and private, to capture needs, pain points and opportunities.  Student groups will survey research and capabilities at Penn State which can be applied to the concept development program.  Faculty champions will support students accessing and understanding existing Penn State research. It is anticipated that the program development opportunities for new research as well as new opportunities to translate existing capability to the market will be identified.  Each student team will prepare a final report which will be the overall assessment of the program concept and proposed plan for development with the external sponsor organization.  

The course will be hands-on and will promote interaction, discussion and sharing ideas.   Selected online lectures will be used to cover basic concepts to be covered and student teams will provide updates on progress, lessons learned during class to share and translate ideas.  The program proposals at the end of the semester will be used with external sponsor companies to develop new research programs, recommend opportunities for further study to develop ideas and propose new areas for improving University / Business collaboration.   Students will develop an understanding of how research can create value in the marketplace.  The initial focus for this course will be areas of interest for the Institute for Natural Gas Research (INGaR).  This is the first offering of this course and the results will be used to update future course design.