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Institute for Global Enterprise Presents First-Ever Innovation Week; Accuride Sponsors Student Design Challenge

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2013

A keynote address from innovation strategist John Kao, a student design competition, and a $1,000 prize are just a few highlights of the first Innovation Week, September 16-20, presented by the University of Evansville’s Institute for Global Enterprise.

“Given today’s intense interconnectedness, rapid pace of change, and growing complexity of global challenges, innovation is essential for progress and success for our future graduates and our civic, public, and private sectors,” said Katie Ciccarelli, executive director of the Institute for Global Enterprise. “We hope that Innovation Week inspires our students and community members to make an impact by developing global and entrepreneurial mindsets.”

Innovation Week features two free, public lectures:

• Institute Speaker Series presents John Kao, 7 p.m. Tuesday, September 17 at the Victory Theatre in downtown Evansville. Dubbed “Mr. Creativity” by The Economist, Kao is an innovation strategist and the author of Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity and Innovation Nation: How America is Losing Its Innovation Edge, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do to Get It Back.

• Social innovator Tyler White, noon Friday, September 20 in Eykamp Hall (Room 251), Ridgway University Center. White, a UE senior, will discuss how he became a social innovator at age 19. White is the founder of Fields of Dreams Uganda, an organization that provides hope for the orphaned and vulnerable children of Uganda through soccer and education.

In addition, cross-disciplinary student teams of three to six students will compete in the Innovation Week Design Challenge. Teams are tasked with developing a conceptual design according to a challenge from the corporate sponsor, Evansville-based Accuride Corporation: to develop a lightweight aluminum wheel for the commercial vehicle industry that meets numerous technical requirements. 

Throughout the week, students will work closely with UE faculty advisors, learn to use a 3-D printer, hear from guest speakers, gain insight from a midweek feedback session with Accuride, and build a proof-of-concept model.

On Friday, September 20, student teams will give brief presentations and submit their proof-of-concept models to a panel of judges consisting of Accuride personnel and UE faculty and staff. The winning team will receive a $1,000 cash prize provided and presented by Accuride during a reception that evening.

“Accuride welcomed the opportunity to support the University’s Innovation Week Design Challenge for its ability to spark the imagination and team-based collaboration of the next generation of college students,” said Craig Kessler, Vice President of Engineering. “The scholarship we will provide the winning team is another demonstration of the commitment Accuride has to the Evansville community and its respect for the quality of students attending the University of Evansville.” 

The Innovation Week Design Challenge is supported by the Institute for Global Enterprise and the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network. The Institute for Global Enterprise is funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Members of the media are welcome to cover all Innovation Week events. For a full schedule, please visit the Institute for Global Enterprise website.

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