News Release

UDM College of Engineering & Science part of Kern Family Foundation Grant

University of Detroit Mercy will be part of a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop ways to educate engineers to contribute to the entrepreneurial cultures of their companies.

"We all know the term 'entrepreneur,' but we want to develop 'intra-preneurs' as well," University of Dayton Innovation Center Director Ken Bloemer said. "While entrepreneurs create their own companies, an intra-preneur works within the framework of an existing company as a change agent driving business growth."

UDM has teamed with Baylor University, University of Dayton and Villanova University, and their industry partners, to build a curriculum that will help students better understand intrapreneurship and provide hands-on opportunities to put the practice in place. Possible courses include an in-depth study of intra-preneurship, innovation in a corporate context, a seminar series, an intra-preneurship-focused opportunity evaluation and a venture-planning course and workshop.

The end goal is to form a Helping Hands Dense Network, which will change the culture in the way engineers are educated and create practicing engineering graduates who are technically competent, and innovative and business savvy.

"The Kern Family Foundation is eager to support this joint initiative of four prestigious universities that desire to work together to change engineering education for the benefit of their engineering students," said Dr. Timothy J. Kriewall, program director for the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) "Their graduates will be effective team players who will be entrepreneurially minded and who will be able to deploy technology to benefit people around the world."

The Kern Family Foundation chose UDM and their partner institutions because they are "best-in-class in project-based learning in engineering innovation education."

“Our future engineers are graduating and working to make our world a better place, said College of Engineering & Science Dean Leo Hanifin. “We not only want to teach our students to be competent engineers, we imbue them with the confidence, the mindset and the passion to become change agents.”

Since 1911, the UDM College of Engineering and Science has awarded more than 13,000 engineering degrees in 17 different undergraduate and graduate programs.

Release date: January 04,2012

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The University of Detroit Mercy is Michigan's largest private Catholic University, offering approximately 100 majors and programs in 60 academic fields. Sponsored by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the University has three campuses located in downtown and northwest Detroit.

For the 11th consecutive year, UDM was ranked among the top tier of Midwestern master's universities in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" – 2012 edition.