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The Innovation Program: Preparing Tomorrow's Innovators Today
The Innovation Program: Preparing Tomorrow's Innovators Today

By design the Innovation Program, developed by the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, is meant to provide students with the experience, knowledge and capabilities they'll need to be innovators in their future careers.

Several times a year, students have the opportunity to submit a one page proposal for a project or idea for a project to the Innovation Program. Proposals are considered for approval by a review panel that includes Program Director James McNames, faculty members from each department in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and Dr. Renjeng Su, Dean of Maseeh College. Accepted proposals receive an award of up to $1,000 and access to the considerable resources available through the college. Successful projects may be eligible for additional funding and access to resources.

For student participants, the Innovation Program concludes with a public showcase where they may present their project, demonstrate what they've learned and their dedication to persever through many states of project iteration and reflect on the meaning of innovation.

Learn more about the Innovation Program at and read about some student participants and their projects below.




"Iterating on design is an essential element in engineering. It's something that many of our students will experience as engineers in their careers. You learn from what doesn't work. You try different approaches. You experiment. You improve. The Innovation Program itself is designed to do this... to be innovative."

—James McNames, Director of the Innovation Program



"The Innovation Program is a dynamic program in that it's different for each student team, but the focus of the program is on student learning."

—Gerry Recktenwald, Associate Professor and Chair, Mechanical and Materials Engineering

"If you have an idea, a part of an idea, or even just a seed of an idea, you can submit a proposal and have a shot at getting hold of the resources to make it a reality."

—Matthew Stewart, Student Participant

"I think the Innovation Program is one of the best things the department has to offer. Being able to engage with professors, having the resources of the various labs, space to work in if you need it and the funding have all been amazing. Because of the program I feel more connected to the department."

—Buck McKay, Student Participant