News & Resources

Big Ideas

As engineers, we love learning about the world around us and drawing inspiration from other people and inventions throughout history. And, we love sharing our favorite stories with you! Who knows? Maybe they’ll help spark your next big idea too.

Riata Center releases list of Cowboy100 honorees

Our beloved Chief Executive Officer, Denise McIntosh was named to list of upcoming honorees for the Riata Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to honor the third Cowboy100 Honoree Gala celebrating the business and leadership achievements of OSU graduate-owned or -led businesses. The gala will be held on March 29 at

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Accidental Invention: Safety Glass

Safety glass is commonly used in various applications where human safety is paramount. You’ll find it in vehicle windshields, architectural windows, shower enclosures, and computer monitors. As prevalent as this material has become, it’s a wonder to think it was stumbled upon by accident over a century ago. We interact

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Accidental Invention: Dynamite

You’re probably familiar with the Nobel Prize – one of the most iconic awards an individual can receive in science and humanities. But did you know that the award’s namesake, Alfred Nobel, invented dynamite? This explosive creation was one of his earliest and most notable inventions. The accidental invention of

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Accidental Invention: Implantable Pacemaker

A truly life-changing invention, the implantable pacemaker has revolutionized the cardiology field and enhanced countless patients’ lives. Surprisingly, the implantable pacemaker’s origins are rooted in an accidental discovery, a tale that underscores the serendipity often found in scientific breakthroughs.

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Accidental Invention: Super Glue

Chances are, if you look in that drawer in your kitchen (you know, the “junk” one), there’s a good chance you’ll find a tube of super glue. While it has become an extremely valuable tool for a variety of uses, this seemingly magical adhesive was actually discovered by accident during

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Inventions Ahead of Their Time: Automatic Doors

Daily, we encounter automatic doors almost everywhere we go – from supermarkets to office buildings, airports, and even our favorite coffee shops. They have become integral to modern architecture, making our lives more convenient and efficient. But have you ever wondered about the origins of this remarkable invention? (Hint: The

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Inventions Ahead of Their Time: Flushing Toilets

Have you ever used the expression “going to the John” and wondered who John is and why his name is synonymous with toilets?? Well, the man in question is, in fact, Sir John Harington – the inventor who created flush toilets nearly 500 years ago! The invention of toilets that

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Accidental Invention: X-Ray Machine

Since their discovery in 1895, X-rays have revolutionized medicine and significantly contributed to various industries. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German physicist, accidentally stumbled upon X-rays one day while conducting experiments with cathode rays, which opened up a new world of possibilities for imaging and diagnosing medical conditions. X-rays, also known

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Accidental Invention: Post-it® Notes

Since their introduction in 1980, Post-it® Notes have become indispensable for communication, collaboration, and creativity. But did you know they resulted from a “failure” and the ingenuity of one scientist combined with the innovation and persistence of another? Post-it® Notes, those small sticky pieces of paper now ubiquitous in offices

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Inventions Ahead of Their Time: Vending Machines

While vending machines are sometimes seen as an example of modern conveniences and consumerism, they are not recent inventions. The very first iteration was designed over TWO THOUSAND years ago! Vending machines have become a common fixture outside stores, schools, office buildings, and many other places, dispensing everything from snacks

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Accidental Invention: Motorcycle

What do you get when you put a motor on a bicycle? Well, a motorcycle, of course! Today, these vehicles are commonly used as a recreational form of transportation, but did you know they were invented in 1885 – one whole year before the automobile? The invention of motorcycles was a

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Mothers of Invention: Grace Hopper

Naval officer, teacher, and one of the most celebrated computer scientists in United States history, Grace Hopper, invented groundbreaking technologies that forever changed how we interact with computers and process information. Grace Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer who revolutionized computer technology with her ground-breaking

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Engineering Marvels: Palm Island, Dubai

What do you think it takes to build an island? How about one that is very specifically shaped like a tree? The engineers behind Palm Island in Dubai had to take a lot of things into consideration while constructing the incredible vacation spot. Off the coast of Dubai, you will

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Accidental Invention: Potato Chips

WARNING: Reading this article may incite a ravenous craving for potato chips. Viewer discretion is advised. The crunchy, salty, irresistible snack that you know and love was first created nearly two centuries ago. Potato chips are said to have originated from an interaction between a picky restaurant patron and an

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Inventions Ahead of Their Time: NASA Tools

If you’ve got a memory foam mattress you love dearly, you’ve got NASA to thank for that. Temper foam, cochlear implants, and portable computers are just a few of NASA’s incredible inventions that were used for space exploration long before they became everyday items in society. It’s no secret that

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Mothers of Invention: Hedy Lamarr

Did you know that “The Most Beautiful Woman in Film” was also responsible for the ideas behind what we now know as WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth technology? Here are some insights into the incredible mind and talent of Hedy Lamarr. It is hard to find a better example of “Beauty

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