George Fox University’s engineering program joins elite company with KEEN membership selection

September 1st, 2017

| Share

Institution is one of only 30 member schools in the country committed to collaboration and Entrepreneurial Minded Learning model

NEWBERG, Ore. – Years of behind-the-scenes work by Dean Bob Harder and his colleagues in George Fox University’s engineering major have paid dividends, as the program has been accepted into the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, a group of 30 institutions nationwide committed to collaboration and dedicated to teaching Entrepreneurial Minded Learning (EML).

With its selection, George Fox is now eligible to apply for select grants reserved for KEEN member schools and engage in collaboration with other schools on workshops, projects and best practices for infusing EML into its engineering curriculum. KEEN was established through the Kern Family Foundation.

George Fox is one of only four KEEN member schools on the West Coast, joining Santa Clara, the University of Portland and Gonzaga. The institution was accepted into the network this year along with Ohio State University.

Ultimately, this not only puts George Fox in elite company, but it represents the school’s commitment to upholding KEEN’s mission – to teach a technical skillset and an entrepreneurial mindset, fostering curiosity, connections and the creation of value.

“Traditionally, engineering programs have failed to adequately stress the importance of talking with customers and collecting feedback regarding designs,” Harder said. “We want our students to be curious, to think entrepreneurially. It’s a mindset that is willing to embrace risk and vulnerability, and seriously considers what kinds of value a given project has – not just economic, but also social and environmental.”

Harder and George Fox also recently learned from the W.M. Keck Foundation that the school had been awarded a $150,000 grant for “Empowering Students to Solve Humanitarian Problems Using Molded Interconnect Devices,” an award that allows George Fox to purchase several multi-head 3D printers capable of printing electrically conductive pathways into mechanical prototypes.

“Increasing our capability in additive manufacturing will foster student expertise in electromechanical systems, affording them the opportunity to create state-of-the-art devices that address humanitarian needs using versatile, high-strength materials with embedded circuits,” Harder said.

In addition, George Fox’s Harder and Gary Spivey, a professor of electrical engineering, recently received a $20,000 grant from InventOR (“Invent Oregon”), an initiative funded by the Lemelson Foundation committed to educating engineers in the creation of products that can be marketed and pitched to investors – particularly technologies that address humanitarian needs and assist underserved populations. The money is being used to help equip the Engineering Innovation Center with training materials and to prepare some of our servant engineering students to showcase their product design work at an Oct. 11 competition with five other engineering schools at OMSI.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Bob Harder
Dean, College of Engineering
George Fox University

Learn more about us through the  George Fox University YouTube channel.