Fall 2020 Graduate Courses

I&E 590.01 Special Topics: Open Design + Innovation

Chernik, Aria
M 11:45 AM – 02:15 PM

Open design is a variation of design thinking and human-centered design that applies an ethical framework to the process of understanding complex problems and developing innovative solutions. Open design is influenced by the guiding principles of open source software and development communities as well as the ethical inquiries concerning empathy and an individual’s responsibilities in relation to self and others.Students will gain familiarity with the ethics of open, as well as extensive practice engaging in the open design process, which includes empathizing with stakeholders, ideating prototypes, analyzing qualitative data and iterating forward, communicating across media, and thinking boldly and creatively in the face of uncertainty. This is an active learning course that requires both self-initiated learning and goal-setting as well as intensive collaboration and contribution to course deliverables.


Hallford, Charles R
Sankaran, Sharlini
M 03:05 PM – 05:35 PM

The New Ventures Clinic – Healthcare is an opportunity for students to work on commercialization plans for technologies developed at Duke University, in particular in the areas of therapeutics (pharmaceuticals), diagnostics, and medical devices. In most cases, the students will work to define a plan for a start-up that would license the technology from Duke, but other strategies are also possible (e.g., not-for-profit).

The technologies chosen will have been screened by the Office of Licensing and Ventures, so they will all be determined to have commercial potential. The project teams will work in close collaboration with OLV.

Student teams will be assigned one technology to work on. They will have access to the scientist or inventor of the technology, and will also work with an academic and a business mentor. Teams will be interdisciplinary and students will gather and analyze data, develop recommendations, formulate implementation plans, and provide other capacity-building support to clients. Students will work on teams that have relevant business and technical backgrounds. Student teams will follow a structured process to develop a strategy and plan for the venture.

I&E  710 Research and Technology Translation

Azhar, Salman
T 06:15 PM – 08:45 PM

This course focuses primarily on the innovative and entrepreneurship aspects of translating research and technology developments out of the lab and research center and launching new products or starting new companies. The dark reality is that most ventures fail. Sometimes there is not much you can do to prevent failure; however, you can reduce the chance of failure by learning from others’ experience and your own experience. This course leverages the experiences of others who have failed and succeeded so you can increase your chances of success. This course will cover many topics typically taught in technical leadership programs and graduate professional programs.


Knight, Joseph Allen
Richardson, Eric
Fearis, Paul
W 03:20 PM – 07:20 PM

The course guides students through the process of human-centered design with the goal of developing a solution to a real-world, unmet need in healthcare. Students will learn to: 1) identify unmet, underserved and unarticulated needs using human-centered qualitative contextual primary research methods such as ethnographic research; 2) apply commercial business criteria in order to select viable business opportunities; 3) use creative and research-based processes to generate and/or identify potential solutions; and 4) document their design process in accordance with regulations. The course blends taught content with practical field application and team-based project execution.


Dinin, Aaron P
W 12:30 PM – 02:45 PM

Before pursuing a venture – and committing resources to it – it’s important to understand whether or not an opportunity exists and whether that opportunity aligns with a person’s personal and/or professional goals. New Ventures 1 helps students do this first by asking them to clearly to define their personal and professional goals. Are they trying to build a company? Are they trying to cure a disease? Are they trying to write a book? Are they trying to fix a societal problem? So long as there’s a clear entrepreneurial objective, the process for assessing whether an opportunity is worth pursuing is similar regardless of the industry or topic. Once students understand their goals, New Ventures 1 teaches them strategies for answering key questions to help evaluate the potential for success. Instead of jumping directly into problem solving and solution development – which can often be wasteful without a clear understanding of a given market – New Ventures 1 focuses students on research, exploration, and discovery. It forces students to set aside pre-conceived notions and do the critical work of collecting data about a market and learning to assess it objectively.


Jones, Jamie
M 03:05 PM – 05:35 PM

Student teams develop core elements of a strategy for a technology or business idea; detail will be suitable for a business plan document for a company seeking initial investment; strategy will serve as a foundation for a first operating plan for company.