EGR 121L: Engineering Innovation

Reader requirements: engineering background w/ experience in management; Ideal: Also have experience in entrepreneurship (venture capital, CEO, etc.)

  1. Course Information
  2. Schedule
  3. Giving Feedback

Course Information

Instructor: Prof. Rebecca Simmons

Introduces freshmen to the process of team-based creative conceptualization, visualization prototyping, and product realization. Students use computer-aided design tools to create custom circuit boards and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machined components to produce prototype systems. Design concepts are introduced and supported through hands-on assignments.

Student Writing Assignment

What are students writing? Design Report.
For whom? Professionally invested non-expert(s) such as Managers (Decision Makers) and Engineers (Technical Feasibility).
Where would such writing typically be found? Management or Hiring Firm.
Why would someone usually read it? Typical audience members would be evaluating a project for its potential impact, feasibility, and cost to implement. They are using the documents to perform cost/benefit analysis and determine if a particular project is worth pursuing.

See examples of reader bios for this course


Design challenge:

Happy Meal Toy (may have old dates)

Readers work with students on the written documentation:

  • Draft due to Reader and Instructor: 10/21
  • Meeting with Reader for feedback, ideally by Oct 28
  • 2 weeks to turn it back in for a regrade–by Nov 3

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is the activity around which the entire project is designed. You may have considerable professional experience giving feedback on writing — whether to colleagues, employees, or other contexts — or perhaps this is an fairly novel experience. Given the aims and nature of the Reader Project, we are hoping that our volunteers engage with student writing in a particular way–one that is quite different from what is conventionally done in other contexts.

The primary aim of the project is to help students really understand what it means to write for readers, rather than as a school assignment. Think about the following when you give feedback, whether in writing or in real time:

  • Respond as a reader rather than as an editor. (They can get basic editorial help from others.) Focus on sharing your reactions to the draft as a user of such writing. What are you thinking as you read? More

Grading Criteria on Written Documentation

  •   Complete?
  •   Sound and well-documented approach and results?
  •   Does design methodology draw from all the skills presented in class?
  •   Clear and concise?
  •   Key points conveyed in a logical manner?