MGT 555 – Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering


Course Page


Home          Vita          Research          Teaching          News




This course is a joint initiative between the School of Engineering and the College of Management to encourage and promote entrepreneurship and management skills, engineering design, hands-on experience, teamwork, and awareness of social and ethical implications in engineering and management. The material is taught in four modules, including Systems Engineering, Product Design, Business Economics, and Prototyping. A key component of the course consists of a team project, usually conducted in collaboration with an industry partner, addressing a significant commercial need and/or societal issue. Lectures will be given by domain experts. The first part of the course focuses on product design. Students will be working in multidisciplinary teams to define a product concept, draft a prototype and propose a plan for product commercialization. At the conclusion of the course, the projects will be entered in a prize competition, judged by a panel of industry experts and faculty.

Topics include: Design Criteria * Modularity * Project Planning * Lifecycle Analysis * Investment Criteria * Real Options * Electric Circuits * Reliability Engineering * Materials * Robotics * Software Development * Intellectual Property * Machining, 3D printing and Assembling a Prototype * Environmental Sustainability * Ergonomics


<Current Syllabus (Version: October 10, 2019)> 




The best team project in 2019 will be awarded a prize, sponsored by Logitech.


[NB. The descriptions of the available industry projects are available here.]



[/// Album with photos of final presentations on Dec. 13, 2019 [download needs authorization] ///]


Contact Details



Prof. Thomas A. Weber

Operations, Economics and Strategy


Phone: +41 21 693 0141


Office Hour: Wed 17h – 18h



Prof. Véronique Michaud

Laboratory for Processing Advanced Composites (LPAC)


Phone: +41 21 693 4923


Office Hour: TBA



Dr. Marina González Lazo                                                                                           


Phone: +41 21 693 7071
Office Hour: TBA


Teaching Assistance

Albina Khairullina                                                                                                         

EPFL-CDM-ODY -1.00.25

Phone: +41 21 693 4785
Office Hour: TBA


Administrative Assistance

Ms. Ilona Ball                                                                                                               


Phone: +41 21 693 0039

E-Mail :



Course Materials (may require authentication)


 1:       Introduction


 2:       “Real-World Design” [Malachy Spollen, Logitech]


 3:       Discovering Your Most Valuable Market Opportunities [Gruber]

                      [Navigator and Worksheets] [Where to Play – Sample Chapter]


 4:       Additive Manufacturing [Bourban, DLL]


 5:       Design Thinking [Tucci]

o   IDEO Shopping Cart – Product Design [Short Video (8 min)] [Full Video (22 min)]

o   Business Model Innovation



 6:       Example Project and Midterm Discussion

o   Example Project [Simadopoulos]



 7:       Prototyping and Project-Related Questions [Aminian]


 8:       Cost-Modelling of Materials [Michaud]

o   Template for exercise



 9:       Embedded Systems and Project-Related Questions [Atienza]


10:      Innovation and Intellectual Property [de Rassenfosse]

o   A Comic Introduction to Intellectual Property

o   Patents and the Financing of Innovation



11:      Cash-Flow Analysis [Weber]


12:      Project-Related Questions and Coaching
13:      Project Presentations
14:      Debrief