Innovation is a key mantra of building bold visions of the 21st century. It is different from “invention,” which most often is associated with an individual discovery. This was certainly true in the early 20th century. As engineered systems and technology evolved to a higher level of complexity and the missions became bolder (landing a man on the moon!), collaborative efforts emerged as the pathway to big dreams.
North Texas State University, now UNT, conferred its first doctorate in the sciences in 1967 when Linda Truitt Creagh, right, earned her Ph.D. in chemistry. Studying under her father, Price Truitt, she used a new tool, a nuclear magnetic resonance instrument, to study physical organic chemistry in new ways.
New ideas. New devices. New processes. New methods. Innovation is all of these. Different from invention, innovation is not focused on creating a new product. More often, innovation is centered in creativity. It involves taking a creative approach to something known, something done, and giving it new life — thus, a new audience or a new market. The emphasis on innovation at UNT transcends any one area of study, or department, or school. It breaks down walls and silos, allowing for creativity across multiple disciplines — thus dynamic outcomes.
When researchers combine their expertise in various disciplines to solve a problem, they find more practical answers than if they work alone. Their solutions transcend any one field, and the team of problem solvers can adapt to industry needs. UNT is at the forefront of collaboration — looking at the world in new ways, and pushing progress beyond invention to innovation.
BY: TANYA O’NEIL Case study: Safer gear for soldiers Every major technology breakthrough is directly related to significant advances in materials for manufacturing.
Design thinking When visiting UNT, you can experience the maker culture across campus from The Factory at the UNT Libraries to the Digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab) in UNT’s Art Building, and beyond. Much discussion, review and research has been devoted to makerspace. While interesting, it misses the bigger point.
BY: TANYA O’NEIL Case study: Tannins discovery From the cosmetics industry to the medical field to agriculture to energy production, the growing and evolving bioeconomy touches a wide variety of industries set on providing biobased products and solutions for today’s world.
BY: TANYA O’NEIL and COURTNEY TAYLOR Special report: Securing infrastructure Identity theft that wipes out accounts. A system disruption that shuts down water systems or power plants. A terrorist attack on our city, state or nation. These are some of the more obvious security risks.
A major new project is underway that is expected to help solve a critical problem in nuclear engineering — transmitting data from sensors inside thick nuclear fuel canisters to data processing centers.
Four UNT innovators in biology, chemistry and geographical information systems earned UNT’s inaugural Innovator Award from the Office of Research and Innovation
The University of North Texas is the only university in the country to receive National Science Foundation funding of more than $1 million for a Scholarship for Service program exclusive to Ph.D. students studying cybersecurity.
New research published in Nature is challenging a theory that is more than 50 years old and could change how some materials are designed in the future.
Since Hurricane Katrina exposed many flaws in the nation’s emergency response a little more than a decade ago, Gary Webb, professor and chair of UNT’s Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science, says researchers have identified many improvements since then.
UNT’s Center for Information and Computer Security is a hub for interdisciplinary programs and research from business, criminal justice and engineering that focuses on network security and human behavior in relation to cybersecurity.
Cape Horn, on Chile’s southern tip, features some of the most diverse and plentiful biological systems in the world. Its pristine landscape invites the same type of exploration, discovery, thought and innovation that inspired naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin.