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Structured Engineering Innovation


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

The objective of this course is for a student to gain competitive advantage from a system vision of innovation and from a newly structured method for identifying new projects achieving innovation not only adding values but also ensuring success for a set of predefined objectives.


Next waves of major competitive opportunities/threats for an enterprise and/or individual will most likely come from innovation. Innovation can change the game of competition. Innovation is defined in this course as: new ideas, methods, products, processes, services and systems that add value and lead to success for a set of predefined objectives. Thus we are not only interested in enhancing the creation of new ideas but also ensuring that the new ideas will add value and lead to success for predefined objectives. The objective of this course is for the student to acquire a structured method leading to successful innovation. We plan to introduce several innovation structuring/creation methods newly developed by the instructor, based on his own experience in industry and academia, for competitive designs of new products, processes and research projects. We also facilitate the students to study related cases, including software and service innovation.
Spring 2019 Syllabus PDF.

Topics Covered:

Our preliminary plan is to cover the following: (1) a review of the instructor's own experiences in product and manufacturing innovations and lessons learned about structured innovation, (2) strategy based innovation creation, (3) manufacturing based innovation creation (4) materials based innovation creation, (5) product design based creation, (6) structures, drivers and causes leading to product, process, service and technology innovations, and (7) dynamics of industrial innovation. Practical examples may include innovations in electric vehicles, jet engines, commercial aircrafts, industrial equipment, mobile phones, laundry products, bearings, cutting tools, machining processes, 3-D printing/additive manufacturing, nanomanufacturing, nanotechnology and AI applications. Topics may include: 'Innovation structure of Tesla', 'Product strategy: Boeing vs Airbus', 'Innovation driver: how innovations in new materials have been driven by the needs of jet engines', 'Enhancing competitiveness: how Harley Davison was rebuilt through changing product definition', 'Development of a dominant strategic product', 'Innovative R&D leading to a revolutionary processes for making load-carrying components', 'Competitive designs of products and processes', etc.


Graduate standing, with experience of at least one of the following: (1) independent research or design, (2) management of product, process, technology and/or innovation; or by consent of the instructor.

Applied / Theory:

90 / 10

Web Address:


Homework consists of simple weekly reports of the term project, intended to pace the project work and distribute the load uniformly through the semester. Each progress report will weight 1 to 3% of the total grade, based on reasonable progress submitted on time. The major homework for the student is to develop a term project report, and present it in power point slides with voice explanations. Video recording may be required. There are also small exercises used for illustrating some methods for developing innovative ideas.


The project will study the relationships among selected innovations and the causes leading to their creation. The instructor will provide sample papers and guidance for developing the term project paper. The study may include: innovations for specific or a class of products, manufacturing processes and technologies; drivers of industrial innovation; methods of idea generation such as a review and applications of Triz method; dynamics of industrial innovation; innovation induced by competitive strategy, and any topic on innovation of interest to the student, a company, an industry or a society.




Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department.
No required textbooks. References are based on the following: 1. Class notes and numerous video media including innovative products, processes and systems. 2. Burgelman, Christensen and Wheelwright, Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, 5th edition, McGraw-Hill Irwin. 3. Paul Trott, Innovation Management and New Product Development, 5th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2012.

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Computer Requirements

ProEd Minimum Requirements:


Tuition & Fees: