University Innovation Fellows

UIF @ UO Description and Mission

The national University Innovation Fellows mission is to empower students to become leaders of change on campus through attitudes, skills, knowledge and the future economy. New fellows are trained each year during a 3 day event in San Jose, California. Fellows serve as advocates, organizers, supporters and spokesmen for student ideas, events, clubs, funding, competitions and faculty engagement.

At the University of Oregon, the fellows are actively working to generate industry-student collaboration in Eugene, teach innovation and entrepreneurship to all students, enhance access to on campus maker-spaces and break down departmental barriers to develop cross-departmental partnerships. Fellows are here to make a difference and every student on campus can make a difference with the UIF at UO.

UIF @ UO Innovation Mini Grants

These grants reduce barriers to accessing on campus resources for enterprising and innovating UO students. Currently the grants may be used for TSA machine shop training and pre-paid student hours in the craft center and machine shop. Grants for TSA training are for $200 and include complete training. This training is required for students to use the machine shop any time it is open. Student hours for the machine shop are $15p/h and for the craft center are $10p/h. Student can request hours based on their project.

The requirements to apply are 1) be a current student at the University of Oregon and 2) prepare a 3-5 minute talk at UIF meeting. The talk is meant to introduce yourselves to the current University Innovation Fellows. To learn more, click here.

UIF @ UO Fellows

Nick Capaldini

I am a Product Design student studying at the University of Oregon. I am currently an active member of both Toastmasters International and UO Entrepreneurship Club. Through these associations I gain valuable skills and connections necessary to execute different forms of innovation where they are needed. One such example was in the QuackHack Hackathon where I led a team of five to a third place finish by developing a faster paced strategy game to match the speed expectations of younger generations. In addition, on campus experience I am involved in community efforts as well. I have done volunteer work for local entrepreneurial resource Fertilab Thinkubator and R.A.I.N. Eugene.

Contact me for: Hackathons, fabric manufacturing



Susan Cooper

Susan graduated from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in June 2008 with a B.S in Chemistry. After her undergraduate studies she was the lead analytical chemist at Bio Architecture Lab Inc. developing, adapting and validating analytical methods to test fuel and chemicals made from macroalgae. Her current research at the University of Oregon is focused on understanding the parameters that affect condensation reactions in the synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles. Susan is honored to be an NSF-GRFP and an ARCS scholar. She hopes to pursue a start-up venture from her graduate research after the completion of her graduate degree. When not doing science or engaging in innovation activities Susan enjoys hiking, walking, travel and photography.

Contact me for: Innovation/entrepreneurship workshops, becoming UIF fellows



Brandon Crockett

Brandon is a 3rd year PhD candidate studying chemistry and materials science at the University of Oregon. His current research involves developing and investigating new nanomaterials for their use in the electronics industry, while utilizing green, sustainable chemistry. Brandon graduated from Western Washington University with a BS in Chemistry and Materials Science in 2012. Upon graduation, he began his M.S. studies in chemistry with a focus on Semiconductor and Photovoltaic Technology at the University of Oregon. After his Master’s studies he worked at SolarWorld USA in Hillsboro, Oregon as part of their R&D division, performing failure analysis and new technology implementation on the fabrication floor. In 2013 he returned to the University of Oregon to begin his PhD studies in Chemistry and Materials Science. Since returning to the University of Oregon he has gained a new interest and passion in innovation with respect to the sciences. The physical sciences are just recently reevaluating their educational infrastructures with respect to creativity and innovation, and he would like to be at the forefront of this movement. When he is not making new discoveries in the lab, he is likely enjoying the outdoors through hiking, mountain biking, and camping, or enjoying a fresh pint of his most recent homebrew – potentially all of the above.

Contact me for:



Adam Jansons

Adam Jansons is a 5th year PhD candidate studying chemistry at the University of Oregon. He is a graduate of Western Washington University’s Chemistry and Materials Science Department, graduating in 2011.  His current research interests are the synthesis and characterization of inorganic nanomaterials. In collaboration with U of O’s Material Science Department and the Lens of the Market program, Adam works on identifying market needs for University technology.  Adam is a strong supporter of entrepreneurship and innovation.  He joined to the University Innovation Fellows to promote this culture on the U of O campus and around Eugene. When not in lab, you will find this Eagle Scout enjoying the outdoors, either running, hiking, or skiing.

Contact me for: Innovation support



David Phillips

David is a 4th year PhD candidate in Human Physiology. He does upper extremity biomechanics and investigate proprioception and supraspinatus torque at the shoulder. Immediately after his BA, he started a business doing functional movement analysis and statistical analysis for sports. Through the UIF he has learned about design thinking and the lean startup method. He is a full time scientist, part time anatomist and innovation enthusiast.

Contact me for: Innovation support, using lean startup method, on campus funding sources, local and nation biomedical and life science innovation competitions.