Innovation study in engineering design
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Well developed innovation processes are becoming an essential component to the continued success of a large number of industries. Such processes build upon the evolutionary steps taken to advance innovation. In light of the need for innovation, companies and engineers must create the most efficient processes for their systems or product development teams. A step toward the creation of such processes, as well as the corresponding teaching of such processes in higher-education, is the development of a baseline of current best practices. This paper considers a contribution to this effort in the form of a study of a specific group of innovation practitioners. The study was created to probe a group of leaders in the engineering design domain using technical, demographic, and short answer questions. Various analysis methods are used to obtain a fundamental view of the answers to the questions but also the demographics of the participant group. Two deductive analysis methods are used, the first a set of hypotheses are explored from participant responses, and second a qualitative technique to understand links in the short answer portion of the study. An additional inductive approach is used, consisting of a correlating approach to compare responses to questions and understand trends across the participants. Results from the analysis emphasize the current perceptions of innovation by the participants and opportunities to refine our search for better innovation practices.