CAREER: From Risk Aversion to Innovation: Transforming the Concept Selection Process to Maximize Product Success

Project: Research project

Project Details


The research objective of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award is to develop a theoretical understanding of the factors that influence the filtering and promotion of creative ideas through the concept selection process. Three research tasks contribute to achieving this objective. First, an understanding of the fundamental relationship between risk aversion and innovation is being developed through experimental investigations with engineering design students and industry professionals. Second, novel methods for assessing concept creativity are being developed and tested for their impact on the promotion of filtering of creative ideas during the concept selection process. Third, substantive and empirical studies are being conducted to validate the utility of concept selection methods for maximizing the potential for innovation through engineering design courses.

If successful, the results of this research will advance the field of engineering design by developing a theoretical framework for research that investigates the relationship between risk, innovation and concept selection. Designers will be provided with the tools necessary to identify and promote creative ideas throughout the design process. These design tools will also allow companies to develop a sustainable innovation capacity. This research will have an immediate impact on undergraduate students by providing them with concept selection tools and a series of web-based modules to be used in project-based design courses. Other activities, including a design training program geared at undergraduate and graduate women in the US and Morocco, and a K-12 EngInn (Engineering Innovators) outreach program, will disseminate the results to the public, engineering industry, and academia.

Effective start/end date5/1/148/31/20


  • National Science Foundation: $400,000.00


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