Creative Experiences of Product Engineering Design Teaching and Company-University Agreements
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Lloveras, Joaquim
Section: International Collaboration and Global Product Development
The strategies of project style and creativity have been applied in teaching and in agreements between companies and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), in the School of Industrial Engineering of Barcelona, in which the author has participated since the 1992-93 academic year. In "project style", students work in groups to come up with an engineering design of a product focusing on the main aspect of the course. In all cases, the aim is to design an innovative product using a creativity phase. In this way, students' creative skills are enhanced. Moreover, students are required to draft a patent. This paper provides an example of application of this strategy in a free elective course titled "Creativity, Ecodesign and Patents". Some company-university agreements managed by the author, three of which are cited here, focused on conceptual design development. Several patents, one of which is shown here, were written. The application of the strategies of project style and creativity has resulted in 40 Spanish patent applications shown in the three tables below showing company agreements, and number of participating graduate and undergraduate students. This experience of patent applications is discussed in the specific context of Catalonia. The percentage of undergraduate students involved in the drafting of patents is only about 8% of all students in the courses, but many worked with patent databases and some included a patent draft in their final work.