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UMaine Today Magazine


Innovation Engineering

Doug Hall

Title: Professional inventor,
corporate rebel, small business advocate, University of Maine alumnus
Research focus: Entrepreneurship and invention
Years at UMaine: Four as an undergraduate majoring in
chemical engineering
Milestones: Master Marketing Inventor with Procter & Gamble; founder of Eureka! Ranch, which has been named America's No. 1 Idea Team by Inc. magazine,
A&E Top 10 and CIO magazine; panelist on ABC TV's American Inventor

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Question: How do you view the new Student Innovation Center that opened this past fall on campus?

Answer: This is a place where ideas and entrepreneurship come together, where education fuels dreams and where creativity will intersect with capitalism. It's a place where optimistic radicals and revolutionaries bold and brave thinkers will gather to solve the world's problems. The purpose of the center is to facilitate ideas, insights and inspiration to support these revolutionaries who will invent meaningful solutions to the challenges before us from global warming to our dependence on oil, from diabetes and obesity to our falling to 16th in the world in the levels of new scientists and engineers.

Question: You helped conceptualize the Innovation Engineering Program and the Student Innovation Center. What will be your ongoing role?

Answer: I and my Eureka! Ranch team will provide mentoring, testing and research, workshops and seminars. The Student Innovation Center will be the best in the world, offering invention team support, business incubation, mentoring and even a living/learning community in a residence hall. Anyone with an idea, primarily students, as well as faculty and members of the community, can come to get insights and inspiration to turn their dreams into reality.

Question: How does the philosophy behind the Student Innovation Center dovetail into the innovation engineering initiative at UMaine?

Answer: Innovation engineering began in 2005 as an interdisciplinary studies course, designed to help students develop a systematic engineering approach to inventing, evaluating and selling innovative ideas with commercial viability. Innovation engineering is now trademarked as a branded educational program of the University of Maine. My dream is that people from around the world will come to the center, home of the Innovation Engineering Program, to learn, become certified and trained. 

Question: Why are student innovation and entrepreneurship so important?

Answer: What drives creativity is education. But in today's world, it's not enough to just have knowledge; you've got to be able to apply it. Patents are given to entrepreneurs who have the power and courage to break the rules and make a difference in the world. Change is good. What we must do is give ideas, insight and inspiration to the change agents the optimistic revolutionaries with the courage to transform problems into opportunities to make a better university, state, nation and planet.


UMaine Today Magazine
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