Innovation within the constraints of sustainability: Analysis of product development projects

Young B. Moon, Mingtao Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Innovation thrives within constraints. This seemingly counterintuitive notion is now increasingly adopted and practiced in companies known for innovation. The main question to address in this research is whether constraints imposed by such concepts as sustainability are liberation for or impediment to students' becoming more innovative and creative in their product development projects. This paper presents an on-going investigation into the theme by analyzing and reflecting on new product development projects in a course called 'Sustainable Manufacturing' at Syracuse University. The new course has been developed and offered once a year since 2010. Students' projects are analyzed from initial opportunity ideas, to intermediate development stages, and ultimately to the final projects including physical prototypes, in order to measure the level of students' understanding of sustainability concepts and its impact on students' capacity for innovation and creativity as exhibited in their projects. The preliminary results suggest that imposed constraints are indeed a booster for, but at least not an impediment to creativity and innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationLaunching a New Vision in Engineering Education, FIE 2015 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479984534
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015 - El Paso, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2015Oct 24 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEl Paso


  • Constraints
  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Product Development
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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