Business project introduces engineering students to the big picture

Putting together business plans gives his students an appreciation of “the big picture,” says industrial and manufacturing systems engineering professor Zbigniew Pasek.

“Hopefully, it helps them to understand their profession requires communication and collaboration skills,” he said.

Students in his second-year course, Engineering Management and Globalization, presented their projects in a business plan competition Thursday, judged by students from the Centre for Enterprise and Law.

Each team of competitors was judged on their product, marketing plans, manufacturing design, and financial projections.

“I like them to get introduced to these concepts early in their educations,” Dr. Pasek said. “It’s a road map for them to see how they fit in.”

Mechanical engineering major Kevin Curridor said the experience taught him the importance of teamwork.

“No matter what their role, everyone in the group needs to step up,” he said. “They need to have the motivation you have to succeed.”

When the dust cleared, Phoenix Comfort Solutions – designers of a backpack that allows wearers to sit without removing it – emerged on top. Teammates Luka Celic, Brady Deslippe, Abhishek Jain and Oscar Silva share a $200 cash prize.