Work in interdisciplinary teams to connect design and innovation to the science of sustainability. Invent a consumer product. Learn from experts in design, business, green chemistry, biology and communications. Pitch and win funding to move your idea forward.
By the end of the UO Sustainable Invention Immersion Week, you will learn how to:
Community of Practice
As a 'Sustainable Invention Scholar', you will join like-minded students and faculty to gain access to mentors, resources, competitions and funding to grow your idea. Continue your learning through meetups and network opportunities held throughout the year.
Use design thinking and sustainable materials to turn your idea into a viable prototype. Execute your concept through one of the many makerspaces on campus. Learn about new equipment and technologies from experts in the field. Develop a portfolio worthy project that will stand out on any professional resume.
The combination of an interdisciplinary curriculum and a diverse community will expand your creativity, improve your problem-solving strategies and build leadership skills.
Green chemistry minimizes the impacts of consumer products on human health and the environment. Learn key facets of the product life-cycle as you create your sustainable product.
Master how to create a viable business model and identify a comprehensive value proposition for your product.
Understand the principles of user-centered design through the design thinking process.
Learn how to craft a clear and compelling story for your startup.
"Everything about the business world was a learning experience for me. As a science person, having the opportunity to learn more about this side of things and give it a try was really beneficial"
--2017 SIIW Participant
"It (Sustainable Invention Immersion Week) was amazing and one of the most inspirational student events I have attended.” --Eleanor Vandegrift, Associate Director of the Science Literacy Program and University of Oregon Affiliate Director, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science
"It was valuable to be able to learn from professors with whom I wouldn't usually have classes with and learn about subjects that I love, but have never had access to in a classroom setting"
--2017 SIIW Participant
Less but Better Challenge
Your challenge will be to design a new solution to address a need that eliminates or significantly reduces the problems associated with materials using the State of Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality Vision 2050 Materials Management plan as a framework. We will examine how 'upstream impacts' (raw material selection, design, and production actions made at the point of invention) can significantly minimize the environmental footprint of a product.
The solution should be economically viable, socially acceptable and have a net positive environmental impact compared to existing products/processes.
The C O L O R Challenge
Color dramatically influences human behavior from how we communicate to how we make decisions and is a ubiquitous component of consumer products. The materials and processes used to generate color in consumer products have significant impacts on human health and the environment. In light of the economic, social and environmental impacts of color on society, you will be asked to invent a product or process that reduces the impacts of color (dyes, pigments, inks and structural color) on human health and the environment or invent a new way to use color as a tool to reduce the impacts of consumer products on human health and the environment. The strategy should be economically viable, socially acceptable and have a net positive environmental impact compared to existing products/processes.
2019 Top Teams
1st Place-- AgriFiber
A better soil solution for increased crop Production
an organic food preservation system
3rd Place--Nativ Solution
a sustainable aggregate to close the concrete life cycle
The latest news on SIIW teams, faculty, related initiatives and the program at large
Julie Haack honored as
2019 Williams Fellow
Sustainable Invention Immersion Week Co-Director Julie Haack was recognized as this year's Williams Fellow, the university's highest award for interdisciplinary undergraduate teaching. Dr. Haack will receive her award at the May 28th Outstanding Achievements Awards ceremony. Read more here.
AlgoteK selected as semi-finalist
for Impact Category for the
2018 Bend Venture Conference
AlgoteK joins the 2018 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator
SIIW at 2018 Venture Well OPEN Conference
The SIIW program has been invited to present at the 2018 Venture Well OPEN annual conference taking place March 22-24 in Austin, Texas.
Join us as we discuss the SIIW program's origins, our methodology and process, successes and challenges to date and how we plan to scale the program going forward in 2018.
AlgoteK selected into Plug and Play's New Materials & Packaging spring 2019 cohort
AlgoteK in Forbes
and Other News Outlets
AlgoteK has been recently profiled in several publications including Forbes and on Eugene and Portland-based local news stations.
Competition Success for
SIIW Team Chromatec
SIIW Team Chromatec (co-founders Nick Capaldini and Rishika Krishna) were finalists in two major business competitions recently: St. Louis University's 2017 Real Elevator Pitch Competition and TieOregon's 2017 PitchOregon competition. They were also semi-finalists in the 2018 national Student Startup Madness SXSW competition.
AlgoteK wins 2nd Place and the Impact Category at the Statewide InventOR Competition
SIIW Team Algotek (formerly Oble) Selected to Compete in April's TechFestNW's PitchFestNW competition and the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition at Texas Christian University
SIIW Team Algotek (co-founders Tyler Young, David Crinnion, Tanner Stickling and Justin LeBuhn) will be competing in the TechFestNW's PitchFestNW competition on April 6th. TechFestNW is the Pacific Northwest's leading technology and innovation conference which showcases startups from around the world. They will also be competing as finalists in the April 5-7 in TCU's Values and Ventures Competition.
*Indicates Program Directors
2017 Top Teams
1st Place-- Chromatec
a Hands-Free, Non-Electrical gas detection meter
a green chemistry solution to packaging
a sustainable filter to prevent lead in water
A Sustainable toy company using recycled plastics
Want to learn more?