May 2012

SCU Engineering Part of a Gold Prize Team at Edison Awards 2012

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 14, 2012 — A group that includes Santa Clara University School of Engineering students and faculty was awarded Gold Prize (first place) at the 2012 Edison Awards competition for innovation in business, products, design and services. 

The Gold award in the category of Collaborative Networks and Support was presented to the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) on April  26. KEEN is a group of 20 undergraduate engineering schools who joined forces to create “ the 21st  century engineer” by instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in all of the nearly 19,000 students they collectively teach in their colleges. 

"The School of Engineering is proud of our contribution to the KEEN network.  Much of this is focused on exporting our approach to educating students through participation in real world engineering projects in which students work with external customers and clients in order to create valuable products and services," said Christopher Kitts, SCU mechanical engineering professor and member of KEEN. "The Edison Awards is a great validation of our holistic, creative approach to teaching engineering for a competitive world."

In addition to the rigorous technical fundamentals they offer as part of their normal courses, the schools in KEEN were honored for offering experiential opportunities aimed at instilling in the students a set of professional skills necessary for their future work.  Those skills include:

1.    Effectively collaborating in a team setting,
2.    Applying critical & creative thinking to ambiguous problems,
3.    Constructing & effectively communicating a customer-appropriate value proposition,
4.    Persisting through and learning from failure,
5.    Effectively managing projects through appropriate commercialization or final delivery process,
6.    Demonstrating voluntary social responsibility,
7.    Relating personal liberties and free enterprise to entrepreneurship.

About the Edison Awards
Since 1987, The Edison Awards have recognized ideas at the forefront of new products, services, marketing, design and innovation. Winning an Edison Award has become one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business. The awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) whose extraordinary new product development methods and innovative achievements garnered him 1,093 U.S. patents and made him a household name around the world. The ballot of nominees for the Edison Best New Product Awards™ is judged by a panel of more than 3,000 individuals, including members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), an organization comprising America’s top marketing professionals and academics. The panel also includes professionals from the fields of product development & design, engineering, science and education. The 2012 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielsen, Discovery Communications, Science Channel, USA Today, CSRware and applepeak. For more information about the Edison Awards visit

About the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network
KEEN is sponsored by The Kern Family Foundation, whose mission includes the objectives of enriching lives by promoting educational excellence as well as high quality, innovative engineering talent.  The founders, Drs. Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern, have a strong commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, which opens many doors for students to become productive citizens in a technology-driven world. 
The 20 schools in KEEN are from Baylor University, Boston University, Bucknell University, Gonzaga University, Kettering University, Lawrence Technological University, Mercer University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Ohio Northern University, Saint Louis University, Santa Clara University, Union College, University of Dayton, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Evansville, University of New Haven, Villanova University, Western New England University, Widener University and Worcester Polytechnic University.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see