Queen's University

Engineering and commerce students collaborate through innovative program

[Principal Daniel Woolf with Minister Glen Murray]Glen Murray, Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf visited the Queen's Summer Innovation Institute on Sunday, May 13. The students had one minute to pitch their ideas to the guests. Photo by Lars Hagberg/Queen's University

Twenty engineering and commerce students are developing new ideas while learning organizational leadership skills at the new Queen’s Summer Innovation Institute.

“We’ve encountered countless Queen’s students who excel at both engineering and commerce, yet find that they have to choose one program over the other when they apply to university,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “This program bridges the gap while building a solid foundation for unique leaders with both technical know-how and business savvy.”

The pilot program is a unique collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and Queen’s School of Business (QSB) aimed at developing innovators and entrepreneurs who can thrive in the rapidly-changing, technology-driven business world.

“It’s clear that the ‘old way’ of doing business just doesn’t cut it anymore,” says Elspeth Murray, Associate Dean (MBA Programs), QSB. “Management teams need to make smart decisions based on a sound knowledge of both technology and business, and be willing and able to take their ideas that one step further than the competition. Our goal is to give students the tools they need to do just that.”

The pilot program is now underway with a two-week “boot camp,” an intensive session featuring workshops, seminars and talks led by business and technology experts from Queen’s and beyond. The students then work in interdisciplinary teams throughout the summer on an innovative business or corporate project under the guidance of an expert mentor. Each student receives $7,000, and the teams have a chance to win up to $25,000 through the business competition at the end of the program.

“I see the institute as a great opportunity to combine the valuable skill sets of the commerce and engineering faculties with existing opportunities to start a social entrepreneurship venture,” says participant Diana Menzies, a civil engineering student who worked with Engineers Without Borders last year to chair the Queen’s Global Innovation Conference.

Watch for the Spring/Summer edition of The Complete Engineer for more details about the Queen’s Summer Innovation Institute.

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Last updated at 11:12 am EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
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