Aileen Huang-Saad of the College of Engineering and Bill Lovejoy of the Ross School of Business have been named co-directors of the University of Michigan’s new master’s degree in entrepreneurship.

The joint program, which will train students to turn ideas into inventions and inventions into successful businesses, begins in fall 2012, pending approval by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan in October.

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Huang-Saad, assistant director for academic programs at the College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship and faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, developed and taught the department’s first graduate design course, taking students through the innovation value chain in the classroom environment.

Students in the course work with doctors to solve medical challenges and are responsible for manufacturing prototype devices and developing commercialization plans. Students in the class have gained national recognition for their work.

Prior to joining the College of Engineering, Huang-Saad worked in industry gaining experience in biotech, defense and medical device testing. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Aileen is an award-winning teacher who brings a unique combination of academic research and startup experience to this task. She has been the driving force in the creation of this master’s program and we are excited that she will be contributing her leadership to its implementation,” said David Munson, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering.

Lovejoy, the Raymond T. Perring Family Professor of Business Administration and a professor of operations and management science at the Ross School, is an expert on managing across functional boundaries, innovation, health care, and capacity and supply chain management. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Cornell University and a doctorate in operations research from the University of Delaware.

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For nearly two decades, Lovejoy has taught an experiential, interdisciplinary product design and development course called Integrated Product Development. The award-winning course — Businessweek magazine dubs it one of the top design courses in world — involves teams of students from business, engineering and the UM School of Art and Design, who design and build fully functional products and compete with other teams in simulated Web-based and physical trade show markets.

“Bill Lovejoy’s vast knowledge of operations and management science and long experience in multidisciplinary settings as a faculty member at Ross and in the private and public sectors, make him the ideal person to help lead the new program,” said Alison Davis-Blake, the Edward J. Frey Dean and Leon Festinger Collegiate Professor of Management at the Ross School of Business.

The UM joint master’s degree in entrepreneurship is a one-year, 36-credit-hour program. Students will participate in science- and engineering-focused courses in parallel with business-focused courses. The program will provide students with the tools and confidence necessary to become business-savvy technology innovators.

The program will cultivate the thriving entrepreneurial culture at UM. In 2010 alone, nearly 300 discoveries from across the University went through the Office of Technology Transfer, leading to 153 patent applications and 10 spinoff companies.

And 50 student-run companies have utilized the TechArb student business accelerator, which is managed by the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business.

Through popular business plan and idea competitions such as the Michigan Business Challenge and 1,000 Pitches, and student entrepreneurship organizations such as MPowered, the spirit of innovation is spreading from the grassroots level. In 2010-11, nearly 50 teams from across campus participated in the 28th annual Michigan Business Challenge and a record 3,000 took part in 1,000 Pitches.

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