The Innovation Engine
The Innovation Engine is a cornerstone of experiential learning at Drexel University and builds upon the University’s renowned cooperative education program. The Engine creates a more dynamic learning environment by taking real world challenges faced by industry organizations and bringing them into the classroom, where students, led by faculty, work on interdisciplinary solutions. The Engine provides a path for innovation and the next generation of discovery.
When students take an industry-sponsored Engine course, they delve into real-world problems, build analytical skills to look at issues comprehensively, and have the freedom to take risks and experiment. During these courses, students work alongside industry leaders, who provide feedback to students and offer them a glimpse of what it’s like to make a pitch to the boss or be led back to the drawing board. These are the building blocks to nurturing students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills and preparing them for the jobs of the future.
The Engine is led by the Office of the Provost in collaboration with the Drexel Solutions Institute, which serves as a gateway for external partners to tap into Drexel’s vast innovation ecosystem as an R-1 research university. The Engine bolsters Drexel’s historical cooperative education program by allowing students to directly collaborate with external partners, whether private industry, nonprofits, foundations or government entities.
The Engine plays a key role in advancing areas of the University’s Strategic Plan, “Drexel 2030: Designing the Future,” and is supported by a generous gift from Jeffrey R. “Jeff” Westphal, who has long been a proponent of experiential learning and a supporter of Drexel University.