Case Studies

of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

These faculty-created, entrepreneurially minded engineering case studies have been designed to be integrated into existing engineering courses. 

They are mostly told directly from the entrepreneurially minded engineer’s and/or inventor-innovator’s perspectives.

The case study authors invite you to leave feedback and ask questions in each card's Discussion section.

This series of entrepreneurial mindset case studies are developed by Ken Bloemer, Ph.D., Director Visioneering Center, PI, University of Dayton, Jonathan Weaver, Ph.D., Professor Mechanical Engineering, University of Detroit Mercy, Kenya Crosson, Ph.D., Associate Dean Faculty and Staff Development, University of Dayton, Andrea Peterson, KEEN Program Coordinator, University of Dayton, and various faculty from the University of Dayton and KEEN Partner Universities.

Skycam and Other Innovations by Garrett Brown

Skycam and Other Innovations by Garrett Brown

This EM Case Study focuses on the Skycam that revolutionized live video production of American football and other sports events, as well as concerts and other large scale events. It also includes other inventions by Garrett Brown, a widely recognized icon in the film making industry, including the Steadicam, Mobicam, Divecam and others. It's an excellent case for use in statics/dynamics and controls, and it's a rich example of the design process.
Christini AWD Bicycles and Motorcycles: How passion for machine design can lead to running your own business

Christini AWD Bicycles and Motorcycles: How Passion for Machine Design Can Lead to Running Your Own Business

Steve Christini is a mechanical engineering alum of Villanova. For his senior capstone design project, Steve and his teammates developed a prototype of an all wheel drive (AWD) bicycle. Leveraging that capstone project, Steve went on to create his own company, Christini Motorcycles. In this video-based case study, Steve tells the story behind Chrisitini Motorcycles. The discussion is rich in both technical content as well as content related to entrepreneurial mindset.
The Yellow Line - How Knowledge of Physics and Applied Math Coupled with an Entrepreneurial Mindset Creates Value

The Yellow Line - How Knowledge of Physics and Applied Math Coupled With an Entrepreneurial Mindset Creates Value

Marv White has a long history of applying his knowledge of physics, applied math, and computer vision systems to improve the viewing experience of people watching sports on television. In this video-based case study, Marv White tells the stories behind the Fox puck tracker, the yellow first down line in football, and PitchFX. He also discusses the early work he did on GPS navigation systems and ongoing work related to televised sporting events.
Design Thinking with a Co-Founder of IDEO

Design Thinking with Mike Nuttall, Co-Founder of IDEO

This case study on Design Thinking is ideal for engineering design courses, particularly near the beginning of First Year Engineering Experiences and Capstone Design courses. IDEO is the most famous design firm in the world and has popularized the Design Thinking process, along with many other followers. This case features IDEO co-founder Mike Nuttall going through the phases of Design Thinking. Mike steps through the process for the development of the original Microsoft mouse.
Designing a Life Saving Medical Device - TwistJect

Designing a Life Saving Medical Device - TwistJect

A young entrepreneur, Julia Anthony, has Adrenal Insufficiency, which includes Addison's disease. In a life threatening adrenal or Addisonian crisis, a person's blood pressure will continue to decease unless appropriate medications are mixed and injected. There is no currently available medical device that can mix and administer the appropriate medications in a timely manner - yet. Julia has been on this medical device product development journey for several years and is nearing clinical trials. This case is particularly good for Biomedical Engineering courses, and also works well in engineering design and chemistry courses.
Mighty Mug for Statics and Physics I

Mighty Mug for Statics and Physics I

Take students on a journey with Harry Zimmerman, an entrepreneurially minded engineer and prolific inventor, and Jayme Smaldone, a business and marketing executive, as they launch the Mighty Mug! The Mighty Mug is a curious mug that is quite difficult to tip over, but lifts up naturally. Harry provides insight into the process of identifying unmet needs, making connections to gain insights, and partnering with others that have the necessary skill sets to get to market. Jayme provides his thoughts on how to select winning products, things to consider in going to market, protecting your product from knock-offs, and more. The entire case can be done in a 50 minute class period with the assignment as homework.
Turbotap Rapid Beer Dispenser

Turbotap Rapid Beer Dispenser

This case study from Dr. Jonathan Weaver is integrated into the University of Detroit Mercy's fluid mechanics course. While a student at UW-M, Matt Younkle was frustrated by how slowly the beer line in the student union moved. He decided to do something about it by teaming with a few friends and entering into a creativity contest at UW-M. They won that contest and went on to create Turbotap – a beer dispensing apparatus which combats the head producing effects of gravity and turbulence to quickly dispense perfect glasses or pitchers of beer with no waste.
Dr. Jonathan Weaver’s Original Cases

More Case Studies from Dr. Jonathan Weaver

Like the Turbotap case study above, get more technical entrepreneurship case studies developed at KEEN partner University of Detroit Mercy! Explore emergency resource tracking, textiles resistant to stains, spills, odors, and bacteria, human powered irrigation pumps, and much more. [Link leads offsite.]