Enis Cirak, a chemical engineering student at Tennessee Tech University, was recently trained to be a university innovation fellow for the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation program.
Cirak, a sophomore from Antioch, joins a national network of 110 fellows from nearly 80 universities across the country.
The program seeks to empower engineering student leaders to bring more entrepreneurial activity to their campuses.
Cirak will help TTU create experiences for other engineering students with regard to innovation and entrepreneurship. He said he plans to create a club or other organization for students to discuss ideas and find others who are interested in entrepreneurship.
“The most important part of advancing the campus is to uplift the students first,” he said. “By making them interested and then giving them the opportunity to act on that interest, Tech will become an amazing place for innovation.”
After starting the club at TTU, Cirak said he plans to gather speakers and host events for students to increase involvement and creativity. He also said he hopes to create more classes focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship.
“As more classes are integrated into the curriculum, I hope to be the first student to graduate with a chemical engineering degree with a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship,” Cirak said.
The university innovation fellows program is sponsored by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.
Earlier this semester, TTU was one of 12 universities selected to participate in Epicenter’s Pathways to Innovation program, which will help the university design and implement ways to blend innovation and entrepreneurship with engineering education. Other universities included in the inaugural group are Texas A&M University, Michigan Technological University, New Mexico State, University of Pittsburgh and California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.