Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 495: Selected Topics: Technology Innovation and Commercialization




This is a first-of-its-kind graduate course dedicated to engineering students who are interested in taking their research beyond lab novelty. If you are a student of technology who is full of ideas and wants to achieve tech-to-business success eventually, this is a unique entry class tailored for you.

This graduate course covers various aspects of technology commercialization and innovation, with a balanced science/technology perspective and business/society perspective. This course will use plentiful of business case studies to illustrate challenges of technology commercialization and innovation, basic business practices and evaluation criteria for commercialization opportunities, and experiences from past ventures. This class is distinct from other existing entrepreneurial courses at Northwestern:

(1) it is the only one geared for busy, tech-savvy graduate students;

(2) it involves business cases covering a broad range of technology fundamentals, from semiconductor, IT, materials, energy, nano, bio and medicine.

Learning Objectives

Demystify the invention-innovation-commercialization process and become inspired Learn from successful role models for direct value creation and wealth generation Learn rules and techniques for innovation and creating BIG IDEAS out of ordinary work, systematically; become mre disciplined, enlightened, efficient, and successful inventors Learn business practices and appreciate the complexity of the bigger world beyond academia Join discussion and form bond with fellow like-minded individuals.

Teaching Method

  • Lecture
  • Guest Speakers
  • Case Studies

Class Materials

Harvard business case studies - re-live the start-up tale and "war stories" of Intel, Sun Microsystems, China Suntec, Applied Materials, Webex, Google, Apple, Genetic, KongZhong, and many more.

Innovate like Edison: The five-step system for breakthrough business success.

Ten rules for strategic innovators - from idea to execution.

Demystify business language with "Accounting for dummies" and financing for dummies"