Collision of ideas

Friday, April 12, 2024

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday!

Almost exactly two years ago, we broke ground for our Innovation Lab, and I wrote about the importance of disruptive thinking. The kind of thinking that is rarely done in isolation. You see, as the late Peter Drucker, known as the founder of modern management, famously said, “What innovation requires is hard, focused, purposeful work.” Innovation is real work! Further, it requires a group effort filled with trust and creativity, not to mention the good old-fashioned rivalry to spur innovation. I am delighted to report that yesterday we held a dedication ceremony for our Innovation Lab – a 50,000-square-foot facility with active learning classrooms, labs for group work, digital content creation studios, maker spaces, the Student Success Center and an Innovation Forum. The Innovation Lab is our new home to cultivate multidisciplinary group effort, to ensure collision of ideas and to perform the “focused, purposeful, real work of innovation.”

Our new state-of-the-art Innovation Lab will draw from every educational discipline and program from across the campus and beyond. Students must transcend their own disciplinary boundaries, work in teams, and draw from science, art, technology, and, most importantly, imagination, to invent, design, develop and deploy disruptive concepts. Human-computer interactiondesign for sustainabilitybiometric integrated systemsadaptive design and many more exciting fields that are ripe for innovation will be up for grabs for our students and faculty of all disciplines.

Many students, faculty, staff and community members, as well as members of our Board of Trustees, Kummer Institute Foundation Board members and some of our faculty members from the National Academy of Inventors joined us for the dedication of the lab. As a building and as a concept, the Innovation Lab is built on our tradition of possibility thinking and “imagineering” that is part of our DNA here at Missouri S&T as demonstrated by the numerous discoveries and inventions of hundreds of Miner alumni, faculty and students

The successes and inspirations of our alumni have become our students’ aspirations as they strive to add their names and inventions to our ever-growing list of Miner achievers and achievements.  They will have the opportunity to team with their fellow students and work at the intersection of engineering and physical sciences with fields such as health care, environmental sustainability, social sciences, safety, economics and business.

As I said at the onset of the Innovation Lab effort, our bet is that innovation is a teachable skill, and we fully intend to foster that concept and encourage disruptive thinking, now that we have a new home to encourage and ensure the collision of ideas. As Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the most creative and innovative of all presidents, so aptly said, “The fact is that one idea leads to another, that to a third, and so on thro’ a course of time, until someone, with whom no one of these ideas was original, combines all together, and produces what is justly called a new invention.”

As we cut the ribbon at the Innovation Lab, we also cut the metaphorical ties to conventional thinking, ready to embrace the new challenges and opportunities that our Innovation Lab will undoubtedly bring. Happy early birthday, President Jefferson! Your legacy of innovation will continue to guide and inspire us.



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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

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