default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Engineers as Entrepreneurs

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:55 am | Updated: 1:31 am, Fri Mar 14, 2014.

(NewsUSA) - Engineers have given the world many of the great innovations we live by today -- Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford, just to mention some household names.

But did you know what else each of those great engineers did to realize success? They founded great enterprises to support the potential of their engineering innovations.

The great American tradition of engineers-as-entrepreneurs continues today. Young, ambitious visionaries are still coming forward, stoked with ideas and the savvy to bring these ideas to life by bringing them to market. Sometimes they've conceived a previously undreamt-of way to improve some aspect of life we all face every day. Sometimes they've dreamed of making life just a little bit easier for people in far-flung or disadvantaged parts of the world. Sometimes they're figuring out how to make modern life greener and cleaner for everyone.

Ecovative Design LLC, Green Island, N.Y., is a great example of this tradition in operation today. Ecovative was founded by Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre in 2006. They met at an Inventor's Studio course at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy N.Y., where they created and eventually patented a mushroom-based insulation then called Greensulate, using agricultural waste and the growth properties of mushrooms to grow packing material that functions like traditional Styrofoam but biodegrades harmlessly.

Another leading engineer-entrepreneur today is Amos Winter, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Winter is the creator of the Leveraged Freedom Chair, an ingenious improvement on traditional wheelchair design that takes advantage of levers and easily sourced bike parts to overcome the problems that have prevented traditional wheelchairs from succeeding in the unpaved, hilly and muddy regions of the developing world.

Besides obvious brilliance, ambition and drive, what unites young visionaries like Bayer, McIntyre and Winter?

One thing they all have in common is that they received an early boost by bringing their visions and plans to the Innovation Showcase, or iShow. Sponsored by ASME, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, the iShow is a competition for early-career engineer-entrepreneurs from all over the world. Bayer, McIntyre and Winter are not just brilliant -- they're iShow Winners.

For more information, visit www.asme.org.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists