Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network

KEEN: The Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network

In a dynamic and interconnected world, it's important for undergraduate engineering schools to teach technical skills while fostering curiosity, connections, and creating value. But it's not always obvious how to incorporate this mindset in classroom curricula and culture. 

That's where KEEN can help. KEEN is a partnership of more than 55 colleges and universities across the United States. The schools in the Network focus on one mission: To reach all undergraduate engineering students with an entrepreneurial mindset (EM) so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work. 

How does KEEN go about its shared mission and work?

Impact and Outcomes

Using a shared language and framework, KEEN fosters collaboration among administration, faculty, and institutions to implement entrepreneurially minded learning in a variety of contexts. The Network also provides numerous tools and resources to make adoption of these ideas easy and impactful. 

The Framework

The Framework

Download this adaptable guide

KEEN developed the Framework to supplement the engineering skills faculty already teach.
KEEN Partners

KEEN Partners

Networks scale impact

Discover the impact and influence of each Partner within their campuses and the broader engineering ecosystem.
KEEN Rising Stars

KEEN Rising Stars

Annual award

KEEN Rising Stars are junior faculty who have gone above and beyond to help instill an entrepreneurial mindset in everyone they encounter.

Content Spotlight

KEEN institutions are doing great work around the nation. Get inspired to start transforming your own classes and campuses:

Innovation Challenges

Adaptable Activities

From Partner Classrooms

Promote the entrepreneurial mindset in a competitive, multidisciplinary, team-based, creative environment.
Signals and Systems

Hands-On Practices

From Partner Campuses

Joe Tranquillo of Bucknell University shows us how to become co-learners and co-authors with our students.

National Impact

On Engineering Education

Get inspired by faculty driving the entrepreneurial mindset among classes, curricula, institutions, and communities!

MSOE Mindset

Real-World Focus

Integrating the KEEN Framework

Learn how the Milwaukee School of Engineering facilitated a clearinghouse connection to community and industry partners through the CREATE Institute.
Client Connections

Client Connections

Creating Educational Software

Use service learning and multiple entrepreneurial mindset principles in assisting student teams to develop educational software for real-world clients.

Faculty Experiences

A National Effort

The KEEN'zine is filled with resources and strategies from faculty related to the national effort to create entrepreneurially minded, technically skilled engineering talent.

KEEN Partner Priorities

We must provide students an engineering skillset while developing a mindset that seeks out new opportunities and wants to make a difference in the world. KEEN partnership gives us a powerful network of like-minded educators who value the combined power of skillset and mindset and want to develop both in students.
- Dr. Brett Gunnink, Dean of Engineering, Montana State University

KEEN seeks to represent the larger engineering education landscape, showing that the entrepreneurial mindset benefits students regardless of institution type, size, or location. The Network continues to set its goals, direction, and priorities through the KEEN Leadership Council.

Partners have:

  • Aligned leadership and systems focused on improving undergraduate teaching.
  • A cohort of faculty driving enhancements in both curriculum and activities to foster entrepreneurial mindset in students.
  • Opportune timing that makes a change initiative practical and compelling.
  • A collaborative spirit among faculty, willing to share material and resources with like-minded colleagues at other institutions.
  • Connections and relationships within the broader engineering education community which provide opportunities for showcasing this shared mission.
Lafayette Meta Mindset and students

Michigan Tech Chemical Engineering students

Benefits include:

  • Coordinated opportunities to connect and collaborate with KEEN Partners on areas of mutual interest.
  • Faculty orientation and introductions to KEEN colleagues, working groups, and resources.
  • Faculty development opportunities to embed entrepreneurially minded learning in curriculum and student activities.
  • KEEN branding and co-branding per requirements outlined in the KEEN style guide.
  • Faculty, leadership, and student opportunities to shape KEEN and its influence in the broader engineering education community.
  • Sponsorship opportunities to attend KEEN events and topical and other grant opportunities for which the Kern Family Foundation may, in its sole discretion, give priority consideration to KEEN Partners. The number of opportunities is limited and will vary, and status as a KEEN Partner does not guarantee grant or sponsorship funding.

Expectations are:

  • Strive to instill the entrepreneurial mindset in all undergraduate engineering students, leveraging the KEEN Framework in curricula and programs.
  • Develop faculty champions through training and recognition.
  • Use, improve, and share KEEN resources and events.
  • Participate in and contribute to regular KEEN working groups and virtual and in-person meetings.
  • Collaborate with KEEN Partners.
  • Promote and prioritize KEENā€™s mission and activities on campus and across the broader engineering education community.
  • Demonstrate institutional leadership through systemic change and cultural practices, such as mission, policies, and hiring practices.
  • Regularly share progress regarding KEEN-related activities and impact.
Olin students