Skip to main content

Sustainability & Innovation Workshop Helps Graduate Students Develop Entrepreneurial Spirit

Just because the summer is in full swing does not mean that our professors have stopped investing in our graduate students. This July, Dr. Lavoine and Dr. Lucia hosted a series of workshops centered around Sustainability & Innovation to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset. The workshops were broken down into seven days.

Day 1: Greener Materials and Biomimicry by Dr. Nathalie Lavoine

“Dr. Lavoine’s biomimicry session was my favorite because the lecture and the case study were very well connected. We were able to apply the biomimicry concept and hence connect nature and technology.”

Day 2: Sustainable Thinking and Design by Rico Ruffino

Day 3: Introduction to Environmental LCA by Dr. Richard Venditti

“My favorite session was learning about Life Cycle Assessment from Dr. Venditti. I enjoyed understanding the systems thinking approach that is required for tackling that kind of analysis.”

Day 4: Using TEA and LCA to Profile New Ideas in the Bioeconomy by Dr. Ronalds Gonzalez

Day 5: 12 Principles of Green Chemistry by Dr. Lucian Lucia

Day 6: Sustainable Start-Ups: Tech Selection to Market Rollout by Dr. Joel Pawlak

“This workshop series will absolutely be helpful for me in the future. Entrepreneurial thinking is about developing new and creative solutions to problems, and so is research. Even if I choose not to go out and form a start-up company, this workshop gave me a taste of a very helpful problem-solving approach.”

Day 7: Sustainable Business & Innovation by Dr. Marko Hakovirta

“My favorite part of the entire series was developing product ideas as a group. It allowed us to be creative and solve problems. The collaboration is something that can be hard to come by in doing lab work, so that was refreshing.”

Many of the sessions were supported by a case study, allowing students to immediately apply the material covered. The workshops focused on using a variety of instructional methods to help students retain and understand the material.

Our first year was a rousing success, and we hope to see more of you there next year. This year’s attendees would agree!

“I would surely recommend this workshop to others as it is a hands-on experience to learn sustainability concepts and tools that can be potentially used in our research or in our future career.”

“I had so much fun participating in this workshop and I felt like I used skills that I don’t get to use in my everyday work. Everyone could benefit in some ways from this collaborative experience.”