Teaching innovation to engineer students: a proposal for an operational process model

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    This paper addresses the future reality of engineer students, facing an accelerating uncertainty, ambiguity and interconnectedness. The dominant models for innovation process lectured at universities, e.g. CDIO (link 1), the Double Diamond (Council 2007), Design Thinking (Brown 2009) implicate a process with defined phases. Experience from practice indicates that the models do not prepare the students for the actual uncertainty and ambiguity. Moreover, the students confuse the concepts of Project and Process. The paper outlines a theoretical basis for an operational model resting on design theory (Jancke 2013, Lawson 2005, Schön 1983/2008), innovation theory (Darsø 2001), process theory (Hernes 2007), and project literature (Larson, Clifford 2014). A distinction between Process and Project is established, and the paper discusses a prominent understanding of the innovation process as divided in divergent and convergent phases, here named The DC Diamond Model. The concept of emergence, that is the becoming of something new, is identified as constituting for the Concept of Process. The paper proposes the Extended Diamond, integrating emergence, as the basis for an operational model for situated process analysis, design, and management of innovation processes. The proposal is the
    outcome of a participatory innovation process resting on 4 years teaching practice at bachelor level at the Technical University of Denmark (link 2). The framework VINCA is presented as a manifestation of the proposed model. Finally the paper draws perspectives to actual experiences from engineer education and proposes further development of the framework to reflect an Actor Network perspective (Latour 2005/2007)
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 47th SEFI Annual Conference
    Number of pages12
    PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
    Publication date2019
    ISBN (Print)978-2-87352-018-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventThe 47th SEFI Annual Conference: Varietas delectat… Complexity is the new normality - Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary
    Duration: 16 Sept 201919 Sept 2019
    Conference number: 47


    ConferenceThe 47th SEFI Annual Conference
    LocationBudapest University of Technology and Economics
    Internet address


    • Innovation processes
    • Managing complexity
    • Process models
    • Teaching innovation
    • Boundary objects


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