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DM 816 – Design for Innovation

This course will explore the role of engineering within the collaborative innovation process from an application perspective as well as the engineering interface with others in the innovation chain. Drawing on a variety of proven techniques, it will increase competency in integrated design thinking and intrapreneurship in order to elevate project success rates.

Course Leader: David Strong, Queen’s Engineering

Course Outline

The term “innovation” is broadly used in today’s lexicon, but rarely is there agreement on its definition. For the purpose of this course, innovation is defined as the creation of a new “artefact” that generates value for stakeholders. From an engineering perspective, this artefact could be a product, process, software, or a system combining some or all of these elements. Innovation is far more often the result of using existing knowledge and technology in new ways than it is the result of technological discovery. Notwithstanding the media frenzy around entrepreneurship, innovation is also typically the result of successful collaboration rather than the product of the lone entrepreneur. This course will explore the role of engineering design within the collaborative innovation process, both from an application perspective as well as the engineering interface with others in the innovation chain.

Course Objectives

Participants who successfully complete this course should:

  • develop an enhanced understanding of how engineering design can more effectively contribute to the innovation process
  • increase competency in integrated design thinking
  • improve communication and integration with other roles in the innovation chain
  • become more effective “intrapreneurs”
  • increase project success rate

Activities and Schedule

This course will involve a variety of learning styles including small and large group discussions, short lectures, readings, videos, as well as individual and team assignments. Material for discussion will be drawn from articles, texts, case studies, as well as participants’ experience. Module 1 will build and enhance tools and techniques to support innovation. Module 2 will be a very interactive session to review, critique, optimize and iterate projects, while adding and refining skills for innovation.

Module 1

  • Defining innovation in your own context
  • Breaking anti-innovation paradigms of time, cost, and human resources
  • Design for innovation from stakeholders to implementation – the toolbox
  • Case studies and participants’ experiences with innovation
  • Project assignments and kickoff sessions

Between Modules

  • Projects
  • Associated information research, readings, videos

Module 2

  • Project reviews – practicing effective critique processes
  • The power and peril of larger group iteration, by example
  • Completing the innovation communication links
  • Trends in innovation – extracting value from hype
  • Optimizing what works where and when
  • Review, critique, plan

Course Evaluation

  • 10% in class participation
  • 10% in class quiz(s)
  • 20% individual assignment/project
  • 40% team project
  • 20% presentations

Recommended Reading

Voland, G. (2004) Engineering by Design (2nd ed), New York, Pearson Prentice-Hall.

Biography of Course Leader

David Strong, P.Eng.

A Queen’s graduate in Mechanical Engineering, David Strong joined Queen’s as the NSERC Chair in Design Engineering in March, 2003. In his original faculty-wide appointment, David’s goal was to enhance student’s engineering design and professional practice skills by working collaboratively on educational initiatives with all engineering departments. He has received multiple awards for teaching and student support, most recently as the recipient of the Queen’s Alumni 2010 Award for Excellence in Teaching. Prior to his appointment at Queen’s, David spent over two decades in the private sector in engineering and management. His experience spans three different areas: the primary aluminum industry, biomedical and biotechnology instrumentation, and high volume consumer products. David holds patents in broad areas of practice and has led award winning design teams, one of which received a Gold Medal in the Invention Category of the Canada Awards for Business Excellence. Throughout his career in industry, David played an active role in supporting engineering education at Queen’s through sponsorship and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate projects. David’s research areas include engineering education, design optimization, and applied research and development activities in partnership with industry.