Engineering students emphasize teamwork in business plan competition

An assignment to create a business plan proved educational in a number of ways, say students in professor Zbigniew Pasek’s second-year course, “Engineering Management and Globalization.”

The students worked in almost 40 teams of three or four to devise a product, set an organizational structure, develop manufacturing, marketing and financial plans, and present the results Thursday to instructors, classmates, and a team of judges from the Centre for Enterprise and Law.

“We had to work in teams and learn to focus on logistics,” says Aman Yimmesghen. “This project gave us a chance to open our creative side a little bit.”

His teammate Briar Wight says the project was challenging: “We worked all night to finish it.”

Dr. Pasek says the course helps to produce well-rounded professionals, as it gives students a broad view and understanding of activities needed to develop any new and innovative product.

“We introduce the students to key issues in global engineering competence, such as cross-cultural communication, collaboration and teamwork, organization and management, engineering ethics, critical thinking and problem solving,” he says. “It gives them practical skills to add to the technical abilities they will need to be successful in their careers.”

He says the judging panel’s expertise lies outside of engineering, helping to bring a broader perspective to the business plan competition.

Irek Kusmierczyk from WEtech Alliance, one of the judges, says he was amazed not only by the depth and breadth of these student presentations, but also by a sheer scale of this endeavour.

“We definitely want to have bigger involvement in the future editions of the competition and also to provide resources to those students who want to take their ideas further, beyond the classroom,” he says.

The winning teams were:

  1. Flexible Furniture, the Wri-Table
  2. Smell Good, body fragrance dispenser
  3. Water-Cycle-Loo, water recycling device
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