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Course at the University of Wyoming: HP4152 Innovation, Ideation, & Invention

January 16 - May 8


HP4152: Ideation, Innovation, and Invention

From Fortune 50 corporations to garage start-ups, open innovation has become a standard practice for overcoming challenges, developing solutions, and bringing new products to market. In this course we will learn and apply various innovation techniques to develop and refine REAL potential solutions to REAL targeted challenges facing companies and communities in Wyoming.  With sufficient skill, determination and some luck, these solutions may result in products, start-ups, or intellectual property. Where relevant, we will learn to use our University maker space resources to prototype and to put our ideas into practice.

This course is primarily experiential—the learning and ideas you come away with will be driven by your interests and imagination as we work to learn and implement the concepts and best practices for innovation. We will use open innovation process to ideate, vet, and present Wyoming solutions to Wyoming problems.

My name is Chris Rothfuss. I’m a Professor in the Honors College and your primary instructor for this course. I’ve been a consulting inventor for over 15 years and have translated that experience into an upper division, interdisciplinary Honors Course called Ideation, Innovation and Invention. I’m excited to deliver this course again, for the first time with support from the Wyoming Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and with community partners Plenty, Net Zero Homes, and the City of Laramie.

The below challenges are drawn from all disciplines.  We build multidisciplinary teams to provide diverse perspectives while innovating. We will benefit from a broad range of backgrounds and interests – all majors are welcome!


  • City of Laramie, advised by Professor Corey Billington
    • The City of Laramie is the home of the University of Wyoming and the seat of Albany County. The city is always looking to become more livable and more efficient. Potential projects from the city engage students in such issues as fair housing development, city walkability, public transportation, and storm water management.
  • Plenty
    • Plenty is a company pushing agriculture not just forward but also upward. Their indoor vertical farms grow flavorful fruits and vegetables without need for pesticide and use far less water than traditional farms. Plenty is looking for our help in one of several areas, including pathogen control, system automation, sustainability and waste management, future potential crops, and future potential facility locations.
  • Net Zero Homes, advised by Dr. Haibo Zhai
    • The goal of this project is to innovate solutions that will reduce carbon emissions from new or existing residential or commercial buildings in the United States. Students can focus on any aspect related to carbon emissions, including but not limited to embodied carbon and/or operational carbon emissions.

Register on WyoWeb


January 16
May 8
Event Category:


University of Wyoming Honors College
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