Ready to innovate? Here are some programs to check out.

Looking for some inspiration this fall? Check out the Student Innovation Center programming available to faculty and staff, a wide variety of presentations from industry leaders and ISU colleagues. 

Professional practices

Once a month, the Student Innovation Center will hold its Innovation Professional Practice Series, with each session featuring ISU faculty, staff and graduate students discussing how to create and promote innovative behavior and cultural practices, said Karen Kerns, director of innovation programs.

Center on display

Experience "Interface," the new art in the Student Innovation Center's second-floor courtyard, at a free university museums reception Sept. 2 (5:30-7 p.m.). Created by artist Catherine Widgery, "Interface" is responsive to weather conditions, and twilight is an ideal viewing time. Tonight's event will include activities inspired by "Interface," along with pizza and refreshments. Online registration is preferred but not required.

On Sept. 30, a dedication ceremony for the Student Innovation Center will honor the public resources and generous donations that made the facility possible.

"In pockets of technical silos, we have a number of experts who conduct groundbreaking research in many areas of innovation. They're accelerating technical readiness and understanding and measuring student outcomes better. Their research provides insight into more compelling ways to learn and teach," Kerns said. "By un-siloing these cloisters of talent, we can scale and brand the innovation that occurs on our campus and beyond."

The 75-minute virtual sessions begin at 2 p.m. on Fridays. Here's the schedule:

  • Sept. 17, "Methods to Inspire Ideation," Seda McKilligan, associate dean for academic programs, College of Design
  • Oct. 15, "Building Relationships with External Innovation Partners," Akshay Sharma, chair of industrial design
  • Nov. 19, "How Engineering Thinking Promotes Innovation Mindset," Mani Mina, associate professor of industrial design and electrical and computer engineering
  • Dec. 3, "Design Instruments to Measure Innovation Program Outcomes," Ben Ahn, associate professor of aerospace engineering
  • Jan. 28, 2022, "Make to Innovate: 10-Year Anniversary," Matt Nelson, director of Make to Innovate program
  • Feb. 11, "Design Thinking Tools to Promote Ideation," Ana Luz, associate teaching professor in industrial design
  • March 11, "We Want You: Student Candidates that Employers Pick First," Kerns and corporate partners 

Flagship Fridays

Every Friday (noon-1 p.m.) when classes are in session, changemaking industry professionals will talk about their personal experiences and mindset, highlighting the importance of innovation as a source of social and economic progress. The Flagship Friday events are open to students, faculty, staff and community members.

Fall's schedule is available online. All sessions will be offered virtually, though some also will have an in-person option. The flagship events begin Sept. 10, with ISU graduate and entrepreneur-in-residence David Slump, president of global markets, strategy and services for HARMAN International, interviewing Smeet Mistry. 

After being involved in the Team PrISUm solar car team, Mistry graduated from ISU in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and is now resident engineer on the vehicle systems architecture team at HARMAN, a Samsung subsidiary best-known for its automotive audio electronics. Slump said HARMAN has hired multiple former members of Team PrISUm, as the hands-on experience cultivates critical thinking, problem solving and leadership.

Using the Student Innovation Center

Wondering what the Student Innovation Center offers and how faculty and staff might be able to make the most of the opportunities? "Innovation 101," a monthly series about how to use the center's resources, kicks off Sept. 14 with a general overview hosted by center director James Oliver. Register for the virtual sessions online.