As part of an initiative to create a well-rounded and more versatile engineer, the College of Engineering and Architecture is working to introduce engineering students to concepts in entrepreneurship.

“Students have to know that when they go into private industry, the reason they’re being hired is because their employer thinks they will be able to make the company money,” said Bob Olsen, associate dean of Undergraduate Programs and Student Services.

Working with the College of Business, the College of Engineering and Architecture has established the Center for Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design. When fully funded, the CEED will sponsor programs designed to empower student innovators to take their ideas to the marketplace.

As part of the effort, the college is working to incorporate engineering entrepreneurship as an integral component of all four years of the engineering curricula.

This summer, CEED began with a pilot project that allowed eight engineering students to participate in a paid summer entrepreneurship internship. This allowed them to get a jump on their senior design project -— with the idea of developing a project with market potential. In addition to lectures and seminars, they participated in one-week rotations with local companies or WSU research projects that involved technology transfer.

This fall, the students will work with business students to develop business plans for their ideas. In spring, they will work with other engineering students to complete their senior projects. Hopefully, they will spawn a business or two!