New program helps bridge gap between business and engineering

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- An initiative from Penn State's College of Engineering and Smeal College of Business aims to provide training for engineering students in business.

The Business Experience for Undergraduates (BEU) program will be taught by a Smeal faculty member and will include a broad range of topics to provide aspiring engineers with knowledge of business concepts that will enable them to make a tangible connection between the two majors and to wrap business plans around their engineering project or product.

The BEU is set to launch in the summer of 2016. Its inaugural cohort of up to 10 engineering students will be selected this fall via a competitive application process that includes submitting original business plan outlines.

Students who complete the program will have the opportunity to earn up to three credits from the Smeal College of Business which they can apply toward a Penn State business degree or minor.

Amr Elnashai, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering, said, "The confluence of the international reputation of Penn State Engineering and Smeal College of Business brands the BEU students in a unique way that will attract top applicants to our program as well as increase the employment appeal of our engineering graduates."

"The new Business Experience for Undergraduates curriculum will help prepare engineering students with the skills to think and act as successful entrepreneurs. It will provide a platform to transform great ideas into viable business opportunities," said Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal.

The BEU program is made possible in part by a generous gift from Naren Gursahaney, a 1983 Penn State mechanical engineering graduate, and his wife, Judy. Naren serves as president, chief executive officer and a director of The ADT Corporation, the leading provider of home and small business electronic security, automation and alarm monitoring services in North America.

The program aligns with Penn State President Eric Barron's Invent Penn State initiative, which seeks to develop a culture that rewards entrepreneurship and creates an economic impact throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Last Updated July 23, 2015