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Creativity is seen as an indispensable component in the field of engineering – an area that will only increase in importance as we try to address the complex challenges we face in the 21st century. Mindfulness training may be able to relieve stress and open a pathway to higher levels of creativity and innovation for advanced engineers. This study is led by faculty in the UW–Madison College of Engineering in collaboration with experts at the Center for Healthy Minds and Healthy Minds Innovations.
This project examines a new learning framework for engineering graduate students grounded in mindfulness training and intended to cultivate creativity, innovation, intellectual risk-taking and altruism. All of these qualities are at the heart of conceiving and conducting transformative research that focuses on societal grand challenges, as well as promoting emotional and physical well-being.
In partnership with UW–Madison College of Engineering professors Susan Hagness and Wendy Crone, Center experts are building upon a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded pilot project. The team is currently expanding the scope of the pilot study to a larger cohort of graduate students at UW–Madison and assess the transferability of the learning framework to an additional research-intensive university, the University of Virginia.
The training program will be administered to 400 engineering and computer science graduate students, divided between experimental and wait-list control groups, at both institutions over a two-year period.