Discover how to become an innovative thinker.
In our June 3 TARATALK mechanical engineering professor Cynthia Hipwell will share more about the innovation business processes that she successfully developed at the companies she worked for and now shares with her students at Texas A&M. It’s also an innovative mindset that she applied to her career path—from industry to academia.
Dr. Cynthia Hipwell is a noted innovative thinker—something she demonstrated early on. “When I was in fourth grade, we had a unit on atoms and I was so excited by it,” Cynthia recalled during a pre TARATALK chat with Gotara founder and CEO D. Sangeeta. “My parents weren’t engineers so I researched what someone could do with atoms and that’s when I started telling people I was going to be a nuclear physicist.” The childhood dream morphed into her becoming a mechanical engineer, nanotechnologist and tribologist. After completing her PhD at Berkeley, she worked for Seagate, a data storage company, and later became vice president of engineering at Bühler, Inc., a food and materials processing company. Today, she’s a mechanical engineering professor at Texas A&M and she heads up their INVENT Lab. Cynthia’s childhood fascination with tiny particles continues today as she’s become a noted researcher in nanoscale energy transport and tribology of small-scale devices. (She’s also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.) There’s nothing small about her dreams—or her desire to teach people how to become innovative thinkers. “As I was creating a course on how to develop an innovation mindset, I recall one colleague telling me that this wasn’t something that could be taught,” recalled Cynthia. “His comment took me aback, and it forced me to think more deeply about it. The research—and my own experience—shows it’s teachable.”