Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center at McNeese State University

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Innovation and EDA University Center News

McNeese Innovation Animation

Date: May 13, 2015

Sean Hicks, a recent graduate of McNeese State University, created an animation to visually represent the interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation taking place at the McNeese Innovation Center.

In order to visually portray innovation, this animation employs the metaphorical concept of a single seed growing into a mature tree to demonstrate how an idea grows and prospers through collaboration. Representing the 6 colleges at McNeese working together, the animation begins with a scientist discovering a new seed. A businesswoman manages the operation and brings in others who will help the seed flourish. The nurse nurtures and cares for the seed, while the educator cultivates the seed by providing an enriched environment. An engineer creates the system for growth that contributes to development. Finally, an artist synthesizes cultural values and interprets the interconnected nature of the system. The artist then portrays the beauty of this process for the world to understand. This project establishes how a diverse team working together can make a single idea “grow” into a meaningfully unique offering.

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3D Printing, 3D Scanning, and 3D Milling have arrived

Date: August 6, 2014

The McNeese Innovation Center is proud to announce the addition of new, cutting-edge technology. A 3D printer, 3D scanner, and 3D milling machine are now available to students, faculty, and local business and industry in Southwest Louisiana to aid in prototyping new products.

3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing in which layers of plastics are built up to form a 3D object.

3D scanning is a process where a laser is pointed at an object and a camera records the location of the laser to build a 3D model. This model can be manipulated and printed or milled.

3D milling is a form of subtractive manufacturing in which layers of material are removed from a block of raw material using a cutting tool.

If you are interested in prototyping, please contact the EDA University Center for Economic Development for rates. (
Note: The 3D printer and 3D milling machine require a computer-generated STL file. You must have this file already created in order to create a prototype.

The two videos below are demonstrations of 3D printing and 3D milling in the Innovation Center.

3D Printing Demonstration:

3D Milling Demonstration:

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Interview with Doug Hall About Teaching Innovation

Date: May 30, 2014

Doug Hall, founder of the Innovation Engineering Management System, was recently interviewed on the importance of the teaching of innovation in the classroom.

Read Doug's Thoughts on Innovation

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McNeese Partners With Parish and City

Date: May 5, 2014

McNeese State University is partnering with the city of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury to protect and improve the quality of life in Southwest Louisiana.

Both of these projects are directly connected to a grant McNeese received from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce in August.

Funding from that $102,590 EDA University Center grant has created an innovation hub at McNeese that supports regional outreach efforts. "We are leveraging our expertise, resources and outreach activities to grow our public and private partnerships," said Janet Woolman, executive director for economic development and director of the Louisiana Environmental Research Center at McNeese.

Woolman said that McNeese is working with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury to provide technical assistance to develop a friction vegetation map and increase the accuracy of a hydrodynamic model of the Calcasieu watershed. This research, conducted by Dr. Ning Zhang, will provide information about storm-surge flooding, salinity and sediment transport, predictions about erosion and the effect of hurricanes on coastal landscapes.

According to Laurie Cormier, coastal program coordinator for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, "This work builds on existing relationships and helps aid the Chenier Plain region in making better decisions on current and upcoming projects for the region. The Chenier Plain region has built support for coastal sustainability over the past decade and now we are working on the science to back up that support."

McNeese faculty have been involved in research involving coastal erosion, flood control and wetlands restoration for several years. "This is a logical extension of existing projects underway through the Louisiana Environmental Research Center and the College of Engineering at McNeese," Woolman said.

Currently, in line with the state's Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, LERC's mission is to conduct basic and applied research, to accumulate/disseminate information and to create awareness through education on environmental issues and concepts related to wetland restoration/remediation with a primary emphasis on the Chenier Plain.

The partnership with the city of Lake Charles is part of a larger project that will lead to an urban forestry management plan designed to protect and maintain trees within the city.

"Trees are important to communities for many reasons. In addition to providing shade and improving air quality, trees complement infrastructure growth and improve the quality of life in a community," Lori Marinovich, executive director of downtown development, explained.

In August, McNeese was one of 19 universities selected following a national competition by the EDA to receive grants to advance and strengthen regional economies.

"McNeese is vital to economic development in Southwest Louisiana and it is important for us to continually search for collaborative endeavors with our community, corporate and industrial partners that support innovation and stimulate economic development in our region," Woolman said.

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Innovation Center Timehop Series Works with Local Company

Date: April 8, 2014

The EDA University Center for Economic Development and Innovation recently held the Spring 2014 Timehop Series in the Innovation Center. Similar to Timehop's mobile app that allows one to "time travel" back to the past, the series drew from moments in the past to lead innovation students in inventing, testing new ideas, and networking in a fun, no-stress environment. The foundations for creative ideas that earn money were explored through the application of the Innovation Engineering system. One of the events, Create Night, brought in a local company to work on a real project with potential applications. This project enabled students to practice innovation techniques, generate meaningfully unique ideas with potential for commercialization for that company, and increase confidence while benefitting the local economy. The Innovation Center would like to thank LA Ash, Inc. for participating in this event. Also, working with several local companies and the Chamber Southwest, innovation students generated ideas to solve problems associated with community infrastructure and the upcoming industrial boom.

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EDA University Center and Innovation News

May 13, 2015
McNeese Innovation Animation

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Contact Information

4310 Ryan Street, Suite 160
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70605
Telephone: 337-475-5000
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