Instilling an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Western New England University College of Engineering Professor Vedang Chauhan has been named an Engineering Unleashed fellow, a designation that recognizes leadership in undergraduate engineering education by the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), a 50-partner collaborative whose mission is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset within undergraduate engineering students.
Chauhan is part of a select group of 21 individuals from colleges and universities across the country — and only two from New England — who have been named Engineering Unleashed fellows for 2022. Engineering Unleashed is a community of 4,000 faculty members from more than 350 institutions.
“KEEN supports teaching undergraduate students with an entrepreneurial mindset (EM) so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through their work,” Chauhan said. “I believe in KEEN’s mission and incorporate EM through my teaching. I design project activities for my students that help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset.”
“KEEN supports teaching undergraduate students with an entrepreneurial mindset (EM) so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through their work.”
Chauhan is a mechanical engineering professor with a wealth of experience in the field. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from Queen’s University and has published numerou papers in prestigious journals, demonstrating his expertise in the field. He has also received several awards and grants for his research, which focuses on areas such as mechanics, materials, and manufacturing.
The nomination and fellowship naming process began with Chauhan’s initiative to participate in the Engineering Unleashed Faculty Development National Workshop Program. These workshops are designed and delivered by a collaborative group of subject-matter experts who serve as faculty members within the national network of partner institutions. The workshops attract faculty participants from across the country focusing on the development and application of an entrepreneurial mindset, whether it be in teaching, learning, research, industry, or academic leadership. Chauhan participated in the Integrating Curriculum with Entrepreneurial Mindset (ICE) 1.0 workshop, which connects problem-based active and collaborative learning to the development of entrepreneurial mindset.
“Students enjoy working on the projects and provide positive feedback on how EM activities foster curiosity, connections, and add value to their work,” Chauhan added. “I am thankful to KEEN ICE 1.0 workshop coaches, my fellow faculty members, and my university for all their support. I am happy to be a part of a Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network of like-minded educators.”
Working with the facilitators and then the coaches for up to a year, Chauhan completed the work and contributed to the Engineering Unleashed community through an online publication-sharing platform known as engineeringunleashed.com. The workshop coaches nominated a number of candidates, and an independent review committee from the KEEN partner institutions made the final selections.
To amplify the work of these fellows and advance the shared mission, awards are provided to the awardee’s home institutions through the Kern Family Foundation. As an ambassador for entrepreneurial mindset, each fellow will work on a project through their institution with a grant award of $10,000. In total, the colleges received $210,000 in support to recognize efforts in engineering education by their faculty.
The other 2022 Engineering Unleased fellow from a New England institution is Gbetonmasse Somasse, associate professor of Teaching at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.