Environmental Innovation Practicum

Environmental Innovation Practicum 2014

Fall Quarter | 2 credits | Tuesdays, 4-5:50pm | Paccar Hall 292

Deborah Hagen-Lukens
None. Recommended for juniors, seniors, and grad students.
ENTRE 443/543,  ENGR 498, ENVIR 495.


Discover the universe of cleantech solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges.  You’ll identify problems, team up to create solutions, and present those solutions to the class.

The seminar portion of this class will consist of a selection of required readings and a series of industry experts who will speak on topics like clean technology, renewable energy, and climate capitalism. Lectures are open to the public. See below for a list of speakers:

2014 Schedule TBA. (See 2013 schedule below for an idea of what to expect.)

Date Subject Speakers
10/1/13 Welcome to the Environmental Innovation Practicum!

Watch Presentation | View PowerPoint
Kevin Wilhelm, Sustainable
Business Consulting

Terri Butler, Sustainable Seattle

Lars Johansson
, Co-Chair, NW Energy Angels

Kirk Washington, Partner, Yaletown Venture Partners
10/8/13 The Business Case for Environmental Entrepreneurship

Watch Presentation
Aaron Fairchild, CEO, Green Canopy Homes

Jeremy Smithson, CEO/Founder, Puget Sound Solar

Rick Luebbe, CEO, Energ2
10/15/13 Our Energy Future

Watch Presentation
Peter Christensen, Commercialization Manager, Pacific NW National Labs

Reception Following with Peter and the managers of the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge and the UW Business Plan Competition
10/22/13 Team formation & Great Pitches

Watch Presentation
Connie Bourassa-Shaw, Director, Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship

10/29/13 Green Buildings, Green Neighborhoods


Watch Presentation
Ash Awad, Vice President-Energy & Facility Services, McKinstry 

Rob Peña, UW Assoc. Prof. of Architecture, Integrated Design Lab
11/5/13 Transforming Transportation and Electric Vehicles

Watch Presentation
Eric Leonhardt, Director, Vehicle Research Institute, Department of Engineering Technology, Western Washington University

11/12/13 Moving Beyond Oil

Watch Presentation
K.C. Golden, Climate Solutions

Hoby Douglass, Director, VP Sustainable Business Development, General BioDiesel Solutions

Josh Binder, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Development, The Boeing Company
11/19/13 Transforming Food

Watch Presentation
Chris Bajuk, Urban Harvest

Steve Jones, Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences, Director of the Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, Washington State University

Wayne Carpenter, Co-founder, Skagit Valley Malting and Brewing
11/26/13 Sustainable Business

Watch Presentation
TJ Dicaprio, Sr. Director, Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft Corp.

Jim Hanna, Director, Environmental Affairs, Starbucks

Ruth Johnston, UW Assoc. VP, Finance and Facilities


Students will work in teams to present a proposed cleantech solution to an environmental problem. The final deliverable for the class is a 5-10 minute team presentation covering:

  • The extent of the problem and how it is manifested
  • Your proposed solution
  • What’s involved in implementing the solution?
  • What will your prototype be? (Only if you plan to enter the Environmental Innovation Challenge)
  • Solutions that have been tried already and why yours is better/cheaper/faster or just more interesting. 
  • Is there a market for this?

Teams formed in class are encouraged (but not required) to go on to compete in the annual UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, April 2, 2015.

For information on the course or the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge contact Pam Tufts, ptufts@uw.edu