Priorities:Milwaukee School of Engineering Student Priorities

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Overview

Milwaukee School of Engineering is excited to share with you the strategies we have created for establishing I&E on campus and in our community. We currently have a presence on campus,but feel that it is too disperse and needs to be connected, strengthened, and highlighted as a priority in order to educate and excite people about the power of I&E.

On this page you will find five strategies to create a presence of I&E on our MSOE campus that will help students, faculty, staff, the community, and all other people where our outreach extends to learn and get excited about brainstorming, entrepreneurship, innovative thinking, forming creative solutions, thinking future-forward, prototyping, design thinking, and implementation.

Cohort 3: 2019

Strategy One: Bringing student ideas to life

Why: Many students on campus have ideas about side projects, businesses, etc. but they don't know how to move forward with an idea, who to connect with, where to obtain funding, etc.

Possible solutions:

  • Idea Consulting
    • ​Students ("Ideators") with ideas sit down with a consultant (either UIFellows or students trained by UIFellows) to develop their ideas into action items they can actually walk away with and work on to bring their idea to life. Ideators work through the following activities with a consultant:
  • Developing a HMW statement
  • Brainstorming ideas for the HMW statement
  • Identifying stakeholders


Strategy Two: Encouraging engineering/business major collaboration

Why: Some business students don't understand the technical side of product development and many engineering students don't understand the business side of idea development. While many students have amazing ideas, they don't know how to reach out to the other discipline to understand their perspective/knowledge.

Possible solutions:

  • Startup Fair
  • Mirroring the BioE Reverse Career Fair that occurs at MSOE, students with an idea would set up booths around a public area (such as our Campus Center) to "pitch" their ideas and obtain feedback, mentors, partners, funding etc. Students looking for projects to work on would walk around the fair and could possibly discover a project to work on, be inspired to develop their own ideas, or be able to network with other like-minded individuals. Industry professionals could also be invited.


Strategy ThreeContinuously exposing students to I & E early in their careers

WhyStudents do not understand the value of I & E in MSOE, in Milwaukee, or even in the whole world. We want to help them develop as I & E leaders, as this knowledge can help them in any future path they decide to take. Early exposure will help students better apply their knowledge to their classes, internships, etc.

Possible solutions:

  • Introducing freshmen to I & E early on in their higher education journey
    • ​Holding d.thinking workshops in PBL classes (such as the Honors courses)
    • Helping develop lab procedures through d.thinking
  • Training student organizations about how to conduct and leverage the power of d.thinking workshops
    • Holding d.thinking workshops to foster growth in student organizations abd help develop/brainstorm new project ideas (geared towards newer organizations)
    • Conduct landscape canvas activity in order to help organizations identify key resources available to them (campus, local community, etc.)
  • Have a freshman design lab
    • This would mirror the senior design labs, but it would only be a trimester long and it would be a smaller-scale project. This could be implemented during the introductory class for each major.


Strategy Four: Strengthening on-campus I & E culture

WhyStudents do not understand the value of I & E in MSOE, in Milwaukee, or even in the whole world. We want to help them develop as I & E leaders, as this knowledge can help them in any future path they decide to take. By developing a culture, we can leave an I & E legacy that can be carried throughout generations even when we don't attend MSOE as students.

Possible solutions:

  • Having a student I & E council
    • This could be an offshoot of UIF, where students take ideas developed by us and continue them when we can't (as we continuously undertake new projects).
    • This could be unassociated with UIF. Currently, we have an Investment and Entrepreneurship Club on campus, but it isn't well recognized. We could work with them to develop events and a culture of I & E on campus.

COHORT 2: 2018

Idea 1: #MSOE-Inspire Competition

Summary

#MSOE-Inspire is a competition geared towards teaching students about the process of coming up with new and innovative ideas. This is done through communicating with people from other majors as well as doing everything in a time limit. Students will form at least a group of two members, with a partner from another major. They will have 48 hours to come up with a new and innovative idea and create a prototype or proof of concept. The competition will begin Saturday morning, giving the students the full weekend to work on the project, before concluding with a presentation in fair-style during Monday on free hour. The incentive will be that the winning team will get guidance or funding to help them start a start up, meanwhile the losing teams will have a good start on something to work on or pursue should they want to continue down that path.

Goal

The goal of this project is to encourage students to be more involved within their community and instil a sense of entrepreneurship. As it stands, it is a topic that is rarely tackled at the school, and when it is, its very low profile.The other goal is to encourage communication between the majors in the school.

Materials

10 Tables

Attendees

>20 Students

5 Judges

5 Faculty

Location

Todd Wehr Auditorium

Idea 2: Dog Mid-Semester Destresser

Summary

When speaking with MSOE students we notice that they often lose their sense of wonder along with their enthusiasm for school after the first semester of their freshman year. We want to make sure that they are able to continue succeeding along with having a good school life balance. To do this we interviewed a few students and we noticed that they tend to be the most stressed around midterms around weeks 5-7. This is even more apparent during the fall semester when they have no breaks during the semester and feels like the longest of the three. To remedy this we will be providing therapy dogs and pizza during Week 5 to ensure students are able to get through the ‘hump’ of the semester. We hope that this will allow students to be happier throughout their stay in the school.

Goal

The goal of this project is to ensure students are able to make it through the mid semester hump where all of their midterms are beginning to take a toll on them. We want to ensure that MSOE students are able to keep their school life balance and not just focus on their school work at all times.

Materials

5 Dogs

10 Pizzas

Attendees

>40 Students

Location

Campus Center’s Multipurpose Room

Idea 3: Startup Meetup

Summary

For our startup meetup idea, we would have a big startup fair, where students with ideas can come and present either their polished startup ideas, or their very early stage ideas to a crowd of students who want to participate in a startup, but don’t necessarily have a specific startup idea. After the presentations all of the attendees will have time to walk around and connect with the founders of other startups. The goal of this whole event would be to help the student founders fill gaps in their company with other students at MSOE. This way not only are we providing an invaluable resource of a talent pool to these student founders, but we are also providing a way for other students, who don’t have a specific idea but want to be involved in entrepreneurship, a way to follow their passion and start innovating on someone else’s idea.

Goal

The goal of this quarterly event would be for to increase the innovation related opportunities that are on campus for students to participate in them. It also is an interesting and low cost way for the school to help and support these startups with resources besides just money. It would provide the talent pool of the student body and allow everyone to work on something they are passionate about, whether they came to the event with an idea, or came looking for one.

Materials

Tables

Microphone

Fliers for each startup

Attendees

>35 Student

15 Industry Representatives

Location

Todd Wehr Auditorium

Idea 4: Funky Fridays

Summary

To prototype this type of event I hosted a small study group in my room and compared two scenarios. For the first part of the study group everyone sat quietly and did not interact amongst each other however once I started playing some music and passed around a plate of cookies everyone started to warm up and started mingling and working together. At the end of the study group I interviewed some of the attendees and tried to get their opinions on if they thought this type of event could help boost the campus vibe between everyone on campus. We hope to do this, but on a much larger scale in the Campus Center. This is where many students hangout and do homework and would be a cool place to have everyone gather to chill on Friday afternoons for free cookies and a DJ.

Goal

The main goal of this recurring event would be to help MSOE students destress and take a break from their academic studies. Also this would be a good way to improve the connection of the students, and create a more unified student body.

Materials

2 Large Speakers

Laptop w/ Music

Attendees

15-20 Students

1 DJ

Location

Campus Center 3rd Floor


Chang Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogPuPIfJ1i4

Cohort 1: 2017


Strategy One: Lack of Strong Entrepreneurial Foundation

Our solution was to create a dedicated space on campus that would allow students to come together, hold events, meetings, run workshops, and be entrepreneurs. This space would enable thinkers and tinkerers to ponder their ideas. It wouldhaveaconference roomsformeetings to take place - especially those involving proprietary information. Thespacewouldbe outlined as follows:

What does it have (~1200 sq ft space)?

Tables (several) - small, separable, combinable, mobile, simple
Chairs (hella several) - simple, comfortable, mobile
Stationery Whiteboards (3) - one on each wall without a window, rather wide, has a holster for markers and a cloth, spans the height of the wall, good quality - easy to clean
Mobile Whiteboards (10) - mobile, lightweight, can be stood up, has a small holder for a marker and cloth, good quality - easy to clean
Supplies - a wall of supplies, organized in a way that is a balance between obvious and easy to maintain, office supplies such as: pens, markers, post-it’s, loose paper, stapler, hole punch, etc., creativity supplies like different material scraps, tape, glue, whatever makes its way into the space to enable quick (within a minute) prototyping and explaining
Projector & Screen in front of open area or tables - with sufficient cables/adapters, so short presentations can be given

What does it offer?

Space for entrepreneurs and innovators (intentionally vague) to gather, run through their ideas with themselves or others, and iterate through ideas they’re working on. Thespaceismeant to eliminate anything that might be barrier to a person or group’s process. Thespaceeasesand aids the process of individual and team work. Thespacewillalso serve as a place for events, workshops, and learning sessions to be held. It can be rented out by a company, even sponsored if they so please. It will adapt to needs while still maintaining an identity that is innovation, creativity, productivity, and entrepreneurship. It will provide the tools to enable students and faculty alike to succeed in their aspirations as well as just tinker and complete work on a day to day basis.  


Strategy Two: Improve Overbearing IP/Patent Policy

The IP policy for MSOE outlines a process in which MSOE is involved every step of the way and should know of any ideas emerging from use of campus resources immediately. The policy is written in vague terms when it comes to what qualifies an idea as belongingtothembut is very explicit when it comes to qualifying the only circumstances under which an idea or project is solely that the of the student who created it. Many students are not aware of this, and many faculty have not thoroughly read through the policy if at all. The problem truly stems from the university’s reaction to students creating ideas and jumping on their intuition.
Rewriting the policy is a good start to driving the mindset and reaction of staff and faculty members here towards truly embracing student’s creativity and innovative leaps. The policy should also define a lesser imposition on faculty members to report any and all of their breakthroughs and ideas as those of the university. It should fall under the same or similar rules to students. MSOE claims to have the desire to drive forward ideas that benefit the greater good of anyone and 
everyonebut have yet to act on such claims significantly.
Suggestions of revisions are below (in unofficial terminology):

  • WHOLE IP POLICY: If the idea was of the student and the student has demonstrated control of the project and has been the driving force for the idea/business/project, it is theirs. If the student used MSOE resources including and limited to class time, seed funding, regular use of space, and a faculty champion, they are to attribute 5% of earnings back to MSOE.
  • WHOLE IP POLICY: If the student can demonstrate and convince the current president that they were able to do this without MSOE resources or intervention, the idea is wholly the students. If not, MSOE is entitled to 10% equity or royalties.

Feedback: having things simpler might not work - easier to flex things one particular way or another if it’s too simple. In this case, things will need to be more explicit. Current policy is also not explicit with some things, leaving room for MSOE to be overbearing

Strategy Three: Inspire and Create a Startup Community

MSOE I&E Lecture Series is the first step to building a strong, connected and vibrant I&E community on campus. Every week the Lecture Series will host a new speaker who will present on the theme of innovation and entrepreneurship. Each lecture session will provide free food for audience members and Q&A sessions after the presentation.

Topics are not strictly focused on business and engineering! Anyone who deals with innovation can be a presenter. Artists, musicians, dancers, actors, designers - many different careers use I&E and are topics for discussion. The goal of the lecture series is to inspire, teach and motivate viewers to explore I&E. By generating conversations and excitement around I&E, it will provide market research and support to further develop I&E activities, facilities and venues across campus.

MSOE Lecture Series: Due to relatively low operational cost and availability of lecture facilities, MSOE Lecture Series programming could start next fall of the academic year (18-19). Featured speakers, community I&E experts, and local artists will have a chance to speak and present engaging experiences to students and faculty.

MSOE Lecture Series - Night of Innovation: With an established brand, and working with surrounding universities, twice a year, MSOE hosts “Night of Innovation”. High profile performers in music, the arts, business, engineering and/or science are booked for one evening show.This event will help fuel and generate interest in the MSOE Lecture Series program and raise awareness to I&E

Student Feedback:
In general, people were receptive to the idea but wanted something fun rather than strictly academic. For future iterations of this plan, a weekly event or activity should be implemented. Demonstrations and entertainment focused presentations should have a larger priority over strictly academic lectures. Activities should provide value to the audience and have them leaving satisfied in the time they have invested.

Strategy Four: Series of Innovative and Entrepreneurial Events

Once the first step of creating the makerspace oncampusis complete, there a number of events, ideas, and activities that thespace willbe used for. One way thespace willserve I&E is through different events on campus that are listed below. These include (but are not limited to) Speakers and TED Talks, Pop-Up Classes, an annual Make-a-thon, I&E Workshops, and a number of other events that are sure to pop up as thespace becomesutilized and available to other groups on and off of campus. These events can be brought to thespace bystudent organizations, facultyandstaff, interested students, the community, professors for class applications, theunviersity, and a number of other avenues. Findexample ofactivities below.

Speakers and TED Talks

Bringing speakers to our campus and our makerspace totalk about I&E would be an amazing way to motivate students to get involved and get thinking about I&E. We would like speakers to cover topics such as startups, design thinking, entrepreneurial financing, and many other topics. We would really like to see the TED-X Speakers come to our campus and present to our students, faculty and staff, the community and any other interested party. TED talks would be a great way to expand knowledge and interest in the I&E field. We would also like to see our own faculty speak about the research that they are a part of outside of classes and office hours so that we can get to know what it is that they are truly passionate about.

Pop-Up Classes

These classes are an opportunity for those with experience in I&E to share that experience and for those who want to learn more/ expand their knowledge to continue to grow in I&E. Classes would cover topics such as brainstorming, prototyping, design thinking, and creating innovative solutions. === Make-a-thon

An annual Make-a-thon wouldprovide students an opportunity to collaborate between disciplines and to work together to think in terms of I&E and come up with new, future-forward ideas. This is an event for students to come together, brainstorm, prototype, andpossible implementand ideathat they are passionate about. === I&E Workshops

Workshops would be a more hands-on version of the pop-up classes that would allow students the opportunity to drop in a session and learn a few things about I&E by physically prototyping, brainstorming, and creating ideas. 


Strategy Five: Lack of Involvement from Staff/Faculty to Ensure we Move Forward

The key to success through change on campus stems from transparent communication between staff/faculty and students.  Tomaintanconstant transparent communication, the campus community would benefit from a monthly fish bowl exercise between staff/faculty and students.  The fish bowl exercise would consist of a safe space for students to communicate with higher level staff/faculty who are stakeholders at MSOE and have the power to implement change. The exercisewould havetworounds: 1) Staff/faculty in the middle and students on the outside 2) Students in the middle and staff/faculty on the outside.  Students would submit any question they wanted to discuss via an anonymous survey and a facilitator would run the discussion between staff/faculty and students.  Staff/faculty would ensure thatthe space is welcoming for students to feel comfortable sharing how they feel about campus.  The fishbowl exercisescould be broken down into categories per month such as academics, student life, athletics, internships, etc.  Thefish bowl exercise would also be live streamed and recorded for students and staff/faculty that could not attend that month's meeting.

Makerspace:

Stay tuned! There is more to come on the Makerspace as we get information and develop the space furthur. This will be an exciting space for the internal operations, external operations, community, and students, facultyand staffat MSOE. It will be a space for events, activities, studying, collaboration, speakers, outside events, community involvement, and many MANY other applications.


Key Features: Movable furniture,  Prototyping supplies,  Technology,  Other 

Related Links

Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) UIF

Milwaukee School of Engineering Student Priorities

2019: Miwaukee School of Engineering Landscape Canvas

2018: Miwaukee School of Engineering Landscape Canvas

Milwaukee School of Engineering Website 

2019 Candidates:

Muskan Kanungo

Kirat Mokha

Shahbaz Mogal

2018 Fellows:

Jack Turicek

Noe Gonzalez

Nicole Lange

2017 Fellows:

Michaela Thiry

Nicholas Hennigan

Tara Rahmani

Sabrina Stangler


Related links