Australian PhD students named Stanford Innovation Fellows
Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, better known as d.school, has named four UTS PhD candidates as new University Innovation Fellows.
UTS PhD students, Anna Józefina Rutkowska of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Jess Macarthur of the Institute of Sustainable Futures, Ephraim Spehrer-Patrick of the Business School, and Melanie Lewis of the Business School and Institute of Sustainable Futures, are the first Australian PhD students to participate in the prestigious d.school program.
They were among 360 students from 90 higher education institutions in 13 countries to be named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford. Four undergraduate students from the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) were also named Fellows, following in the footsteps of 12 undergraduate FEIT students who have previously participated in the program.
The program enables Fellows to create innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organisations, facilitate experiential workshops and work with faculties and professional staff to develop new innovation-led education possibilities for students within their university.
“During training, Fellows learn to analyse their campus ecosystems and identify opportunities for change related to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity. They apply this new knowledge and perspective to design new educational opportunities for their peers,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program.
The four UTS PhD Fellows are focusing on the innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for higher-degree research (HDR) students at UTS. Together, they have applied a human-centred approach to their work and conducted interviews with post-graduate students to create personas and journey maps.
Their core project will explore new ways to communicate innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities to HDR students at UTS. In particular, curate learning experiences through an online platform to connect and integrate HDR students with content and learning across UTS faculties, schools and industry partners.
“HDR students have access to a multitude of platforms and sources of information, and in our interviews, a common theme among students was wanting to be more connected across, within and beyond the university,” said Melanie Lewis.
In order to participate in the Stanford d.school program, and to share the outcomes of their innovation projects, the four UTS PhD candidates were sponsored by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit.
“Stanford’s d.school is a global icon in design, innovation and entrepreneurship. I have no doubt that our first PhD University Innovation Fellows will be innovation leaders within our higher degree research community at UTS and inspire students to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to their work,” said Professor Margaret Maile Petty, Executive Director, UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
In Autumn 2020, Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in the d.school’s signature Silicon Valley Meetup in California. During their visit, Fellows take part in immersive workshop experiences at Stanford University and Google, and work with leaders in education and industry.
The Fellows also have the opportunity to present their work and facilitate workshops at events and conferences around the world.