• Student in Science Lab

    Interdisciplinary Course: Innovation

    Course Objective:

    This course will educate and train students in the basic principles and best practices of the innovation process as well as how to develop, write, and present an innovation plan. It will enhance students’ understanding in both theory and practical applications while enabling them to learn directly from proven innovators and understand how to change their thinking. Students will learn about the various stages of innovation and the process of implementing new ideas for world improvements, gains, and profits.

    Course Description:

    The Process of Innovation is a course intended to immerse students in the diverse subject of innovation. The offering of this course was initiated by Roger Appeldorn, a Hamline alum from 1957 who went on to be a leading innovator at 3M, and Bruce Bolon, associate professor and chair of the Hamline Physics Department. Students not only interface with innovation experts but also take field trips to local innovative companies to be introduced to their innovators while experiencing real-world blueprints for becoming innovators themselves. Alongside classroom instruction, students will experience high-impact learning opportunities by engaging with forward-thinking companies.

    The course focuses on teaching the principles and best practices associated with the innovation process. Key characteristics of a culture in which the innovation process can thrive include:

    • Encouragement and promotion at all levels of individual initiative to innovate new ideas, programs, and/or products that will drive growth.
    • An understanding that innovation is a parallel process where all members interact and work together throughout the process toward common innovative goals and objectives.
    • User or customer involvement and interaction established at the earliest stages of a program.
    • Focus on meeting or exceeding the expectations and needs of the user or customer.
    • A realization that successful, high-value innovative products and businesses involve integration of multiple innovative ideas and developments at all levels of the organization—not just one.

    Course Instructor:

    Dr. Lifeng Dong is a professor and the Emma K. and Carl R. N. Malmstrom Endowed Chair in Physics at Hamline University. Professor Dong received his PhD and MS in physics from Portland State University after completing his MS in materials science and engineering and BS in mechanical engineering at Qingdao University of Science and Technology in China.

    Professor Dong has obtained 18 patents and published over 180 peer-reviewed articles as well as book chapters in Nano Letters, ACS Nano, Chemical Communications, Physical Review B, Applied Physics Letters, and Carbon, among others. He has received numerous research awards, including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Microbeam Analysis Society (2003), National Center for Electron Microscopy Visiting Scientist Fellowship (2007), and Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (2010). Professor Dong currently works with his collaborators and students to design, synthesize/fabricate, and characterize nanoscale materials and devices (including solar cells, fuel cells, supercapacitors, lithium batteries, field effect transistors, and biosensors) for energy conversion and storage as well as water purification and desalination.

    Course Invited Guest Speakers:

    • Roger Appeldorn: retired, 3M corporate scientist and Carlton Society member
    • Michael Ayers: owner at The Commonwealth Practice LLC
    • Donna Bange: 3M commercialization manager
    • Kurt Casby: director of device mechanical design, Medtronic
    • George Dierberger: Augsburg University
    • Wayne Dunshee: retired, 3M corporate scientist and Carlton Society member
    • Mark D. Fiegen: 3M global business development manager
    • Art Fry: retired, 3M corporate scientist and Carlton Society member
    • Fu-hung Hsieh: professor emeritus, University of Missouri at Columbia
    • William Howard: retired, Medtronic scientist
    • Gary Jader: Hamline University
    • Vincent King: retired, 3M senior specialist – technology analyst
    • Curt Larson: retired, 3M lead new product development specialist
    • Richard Miller: retired, 3M corporate scientist and Carlton Society member
    • Kimberly Johnson: former 3M project management, innovation and senior project manager at state of Minnesota MNIT Central
    • Nancy Johnson: intellectual property attorney; Mueting, Raasch & Gebhardt, P. A.
    • Rob Routhieaux: Hamline University
    • Ken Smith: 3M corporate scientist and Carlton Society member
    • Doug Wood: medical director, Center for Innovation at Mayo Clinic