Lafayette is integrating “entrepreneurially minded learning” into its engineering programs as a partner in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN).

A student works on the race car frame for the Formula SAE Collegiate Design Series. The interdisciplinary project calls for students to create a business plan and design and build a prototype for a start-up company.

A student works on the race car frame for the Formula SAE Collegiate Design Series. The interdisciplinary project calls for students to create a business plan and design and build a prototype for a start-up company.

A grant of $222,500 from the Kern Family Foundation will enable Lafayette to lay the groundwork for an “X-Trained (Cross-Trained) Engineering Initiative” that will introduce engineering students to the knowledge, perspectives, skills, values, and mental agility that contribute to an entrepreneurial mindset.

This fosters thinking beyond the technical challenges of a problem to consider its humanistic, artistic, economic, and societal dimensions. The initiative builds on Lafayette’s success in providing generations of engineering students with an outstanding technical education coupled with abundant opportunities for immersion in the liberal arts.

“We are immensely grateful to The Kern Family Foundation for its support,” says Lafayette President Alison Byerly.

“As technical knowledge has become more readily available, it is more relevant and valuable than ever for students to have a combination of technical knowledge and broad thinking,” says Scott Hummel, Jeffers Director of the Engineering Division. “This combination gives Lafayette engineering students a competitive edge in a globally competitive talent marketplace.”

The initiative aligns with the key objectives of the College’s $400 million Live Connected, Lead Change campaign to further connect the liberal arts and engineering, foster innovation in teaching and learning, and connect the campus community.

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