RAPID CITY, S.D. (Dec. 1, 2015) – A
team of faculty and administrators from the South Dakota School of Mines &
Technology has been selected to participate in the Pathways to Innovation
Program designed to help institutions fully incorporate innovation and
entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education.
South Dakota Mines is among 14
universities nationwide selected, it was announced today by the National Center
for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which runs the program.
Epicenter is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford
University and the VentureWell.
Engineering is the foundation of much
of the innovation required to maintain America’s global competitiveness and
address pressing problems. Faculty and administrators participating in the program
will lead universities into a new era of engineering education that prepares
students to tackle big problems and thrive in the ever-changing economy.
“Increasing opportunities for
students to be involved in innovation and creating an ecosystem that supports
innovation is a priority for Mines,” said South Dakota Mines President Heather
Wilson. “This is one way in which we will chart our path forward.”
The team from SD Mines will assess the
university’s current offerings, design a unique strategy for change and lead
peers in a transformation process to broaden and strengthen campus-based
innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Michael Langerman, Ph.D., head of the
Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Darren Haar, SD Mines Entrepreneur in
Residence, met with the Pathways program for the first time at Stanford
University Nov. 19-20. A second meeting in January 2016 will bring together the
full Mines team with others in the cohort to analyze the needs and
opportunities at individual schools and develop plans for transforming the
undergraduate engineering experience.
Other member of the Mines Pathways to
Innovation team: James Green, Caterpillar (retired); Paul Hinker, Ph.D.,
assistant professor, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science; Kayhan
Karatekeli, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science; Jon Kellar, Ph.D., professor, Department of Materials & Metallurgical Engineering; Mike Selzer, SD
Mines Foundation; Larry Simonson, Ph.D., SD Mines Foundation; Joseph Wright,
associate vice president, Office of Research and Economic Development.
Teams will receive access to models
for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering curriculum, custom online
resources, networking opportunities, guidance from a community of engineering
and entrepreneurship faculty, and membership in a national network of schools
with similar goals.
The teams in the new cohort join a
community of 36 institutional teams that are currently participating in the
program. The projects include innovation certificates and majors, maker and
flexible learning spaces, first-year and capstone courses, faculty fellows
programs, and innovation centers. Additionally, several cross-institutional
collaborations have resulted from the first group of schools.
engineering and computer science students are expected to enter industry with
technical knowledge as well as a diverse set of mindsets, skillsets and
attitudes that help them innovate, collaborate and create value,” said Tom
Byers, director and co-principal investigator of Epicenter and professor at
Stanford University. “As educators, we need to better prepare this generation
of students for the workforce, position them for success in their careers, and
give them more opportunities to bring their innovative ideas to life.”
Learn more about the Pathways to
Innovation Program at http://epicenter.stanford.edu/pathways-to-innovation.