Ideas to Innovation Projects

The centerpieces of the ECE project-track MS are the Ideas to Innovation Project courses (I2I-1 and I2I-2), which provide immersive design experiences.  The team-based project integrates an ambitious system design project with the development of professional success skills. These end-to-end projects identify key challenges in an emerging technology or an application-based problem, then implement a proof-of-concept design for a solution to that challenge.  Past project teams have focused on topics including machine learning, image/signal recognition/classification, hardware design (including accelerators and memory controllers), power systems, control systems, biomedical applications, communication systems, energy harvesting, renewable energy, edge computing and semiconductor devices.   

The process starts with topics suggested by faculty members, companies, prior I2I teams or by Purdue’s Office of Technology Commercialization (e.g. proof-of-concept demonstrations of recent patents).  Working individually, each student analyzes topics of interest via a context/challenge/approach/result (CCAR) analysis.  Students then form teams based on their topic of interest and proceed through definition of approach and design phases from preliminary design through final demonstration/testing of their system.

The development of students’ success skills is an integral part of the design experience – tightly linked to the design project itself. Skills to be developed include written and oral communication to a variety of audiences, building successful teams, working in teams, leading teams, an appreciation of professional ethics, and the related business knowledge and understanding of intellectual property needed to develop technology demonstrations into start-up companies or new product lines in existing companies.

New courses in the I2I family address Ideation (transforming societal/consumer problems into potential product concepts) and Intellectual Property generation and management.