The Engineering Innovation Institute made a 22% increase in student enrollment from last year, comprising 642 undergraduate and 192 graduate students. In addition, this past year saw 2,160 unique combined student enrollments (Innovation and Leadership Institutes) in the curricula offered, continuing a ~30% annual enrollment growth rate for the two Institutes since inception. The growth has exceeded the Fiscal Year 2023 projected target goal of 2,000 unique enrollments set as part of the Wertheim Transformation initiative, marking a significant milestone for the institutes.
The Engineering Innovation and Leadership Institutes have expanded Skills-Builders Module training to include 15 focused 1-hour turn-key Modules. These Modules are offered to faculty to supplement their courses across all College of Engineering departments. In this fiscal year, over 1,500 engineering students in 9 engineering disciplines were the recipients of these materials in areas such as engineering innovation and creativity, leadership, presentation and communication skills, and professional credibility. The top three modules were Professional Credibility, Innovation and Creativity, and Standard of Care. The two Institutes also continue to assist in the advancement of the College of Engineering EDGE Professional Development Program by offering the initial Professional Development Short Courses (Engineering Leadership, Persuasive Communications for Engineers, and Business Acumen for Engineers). They will continue to work with the College distance delivery program to develop further Professional Development offerings.
Another highlight for the Engineering Innovation institute is the kick-off of the second year of the UF Innovation Fellows program, a joint program between the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the Warrington College of Business. The program grew significantly in breadth and depth this year. It recruited the second cohort of fourteen Innovation Fellows students who were diverse in discipline and background – doubling the program size from the first year. Ten students were recruited from the College of Engineering (up from three in the first year) and four from the College of Business (up from three last year, plus one from the College of the Arts) to work together over two semesters on three self-directed projects. Through over 50 meetings and presentations over two semesters, this select group of student leaders experienced the power of cross-disciplinary teamwork through three innovation-based projects, up from one project last year, guided by leading engineering innovators.
The students were slated to visit Silicon Valley for five days in spring as part of the program including a four-hour workshop in the Stanford D-School, visits to Facebook, Google, Apple, Vobile, the StartX Incubator, Stanford Technology Ventures, and a talk by Lightspeed Ventures, but unfortunately, the trip was postponed due to the pandemic.