The road to interactive patent searching at an American University in the UAE

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Engineering division at New York University in Abu Dhabi encourages students to not be afraid of thinking differently when faced with a challenge. Accordingly, a key aspect of the engineering curriculum focuses on invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship (i2e) through all years of undergraduate study[1]. Through i2e students are encouraged to hone their creativity and develop their leadership skills, so that by the time the students graduate they are empowered to become productive and innovative contributors to the engineering profession. One of the engineering students' first exposures to i2e is through the course, Design and Innovation, required of all first-year students intending to major in any Engineering discipline. By the end of this intensive three-week course, students will create a prototype to a unique invention that addresses a theme in the class. As the Science and Engineering librarian, the author strives to point students to the right information sources and to teach them how to use these. In the Design and Innovation course, the librarian teaches the students how to search the literature to determine if their invention is truly unique or if someone else has already thought of it. Although by the time the students are enrolled in Design and Innovation, they are exposed to how to search the journal literature, searching to determine if an invention exists via the USPTO database requires using a skill set that is different from searching for journal articles. Based on the author's observations, university age students retain more information when they are involved in the learning process. Studies have shown that students of Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation, are visual learners that will be more likely to internalize what they learn if they are exposed to interactive activities[2, 3]. Therefore, the goal is to continually develop an experiential patent searching module that will greater ensure that the engineering students at NYUAD have an excellent basis to search for inventions for Design and Innovation and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2016 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2016
Subtitle of host publication"Smart Education in Smart Cities"
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781467386333
StatePublished - May 19 2016
Event2016 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2016 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Apr 10 2016Apr 13 2016

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Other2016 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi


  • experiential learning
  • instruction
  • interactive
  • librarian
  • patent searching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Education


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